From India with Love

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

30/05/2006 - 03/06/2006

ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival

Production Details

Devised and performed by Rajeev Varma and Tarun Mohanbhai
Directed by Te Radar

Video inserts directed by Cristobal Araus Lobos
Set design by John Parker
Sound by DJ Timmy Schumacher

This is Bollywood at it’s best! It’s a celebration of love, loss and survival.  Hilarious dance routines, projected movie sequences and clever puppetry leave audiences in hysterical laughter.

Winner of Best Local Act at the 2004 NZ International Comedy Festival and the creators of the hit show D’Arranged Marriage, Those Indian Guys aka Rajeev Varma and Tarun Mohanbhai, have won the hearts of audiences in New Zealoand, Melbourne, Sydney, Malaysia and South Africa.

Directed by renowned comedian and social commentator Te Radar, movie sequences directed by award winning film director Cristobal Araus Lobos, set design by John Parker and sound by leading NZ DJ Timmy Schumacher – this show has all the glitz and glamour of New Zealand theatre at its best!

Theatre , Comedy ,

1hr 40mins, no interval

Cultural comedy at its best

Review by John Smythe 30th May 2006

Definitely worth making an effort to see, From India with Love is the high point of the comedy festival so far when it comes to performance versatility, production values and video inserts.

In the guise of a Bollywood retelling, to their grandson, of the tale of how Pushpa and Manhur came to come to New Zealand, ‘Those Indian Guys’ – Rajeev Varma and Tarun Mohanbhai – deliver 100 minutes of ingeniously wrought comedy.

Against orange velvet drapes and beaded curtains, on a stage fringed with a garland of golden lotus flowers, two guys and two wooden puppets unveil a tale of epic scale. Sure they get significant help from some major screen talent – Pio Turei, Taungaroa Emile, Oscar Kightley et al, not to mention a fabulous chorus of Indian beauties – in the video inserts but that should not detract from the live-on-stage achievements of Rajeev and Tarun.

Cultural comedy at its best, its strong satirical and archetypical characterisations of Indian village values and tax-dodging business practices in New Zealand gives them full licence to satirise New Zealand too, which they take with pleasure.

Tarun’s stolid fisherman, Manhur, is a classic clown character and his work with the wooden puppets is excellent. Not only is Rajeev’s innocent Pushpa heart-warmingly delightful, he also astounds with a vast range of incidental characters. And together their dancing and mime-singing to the big Bollywood numbers is wondrous to behold.

The story is well structured, the comedy is true and the fun those guys have is hugely infectious. Catch them if you can – they deserve full houses and a return season.


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