Jacob Rajan

Jacob Rajan MNZM is a Malaysian-born-New Zealand playwright and actor. His highly successful plays include the trilogy Krishnan's Dairy, The Candlestick Maker and The Pickle King. Another work was The Dentist's Chair. In 2002, he received the prestigious Laureate Art Award.[1] All of Rajan's plays, except his first, Krishnan's Dairy, were originally produced for his theatre company, Indian Ink Theatre Company, and co-written with director/writer Justin Lewis, co-founder of Indian Ink.[2]

Rajan was born in Malaysia to Indian parents, and migrated to New Zealand when he was four years old.[1] He studied acting and at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School. He graduated in 1994 and has since appeared in different stage and screen productions as well as touring internationally.[3] He appeared as Dr Ashwin Bhashar in the television soap Shortland Street.

His most significant works has been the trilogy of plays which explore Indian themes, characters and stories.[1]

Krishnan's Dairy, The Candlestick Maker and The Guru Of Chai have been extremely popular plays in NZ. His most recent work is Kiss the Fish.[4]

With Justin Lewis, Rajan co-founded the Indian Ink Theatre Company in 1996.

Rajan's investiture as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the governor-general, Sir Jerry Mateparae (right) on 23 May 2013

In the 2013 New Year Honours, Rajan was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre.[5]


  • Krishnan's Dairy
  • The Candlestick Maker
  • The Pickle King[6]
  • The Dentist's Chair
  • Guru of Chai
  • Kiss the Fish[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Jacob Rajan". Arts Foundation New Zealand. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Forster and Plumb, Michelanne and Vivienne (2013). Twenty New Zealand Playwrights. Wellington: Playmarket. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-908607-47-1.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Simei-Barton, Paul (16 September 2013). "Theatre review: Kiss the Fish, Q Theatre". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  5. ^ "New Year honours list 2013". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  6. ^ Rajan and Lewis, Jacob and Justin (2005). Indian Ink: Krishnan's Dairy, The Candlestick Maker, The Pickle King. Wellington: VUP. pp. 9–24. ISBN 0-86473-497-2.

External links

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