Krishna Istha is a writer, performance artist, comedian and theatre maker. Their practice looks at trans/formations (physical, political & collaborative), gender politics, and queerness using subversive text and humour. They have performed extensively across the UK, Germany, Australia and USA.
Since 2013, Krishna has performed, written, devised and collaborated with artists and theatre companies on shows that span across theatre, opera, comedy and performance art. The work is socially conscious and often about taboo or underrepresented topics like sex work (Sex Worker’s Opera 2015-2018, Pleasance Theatre London, Campagnie Theatre Amsterdam), female-masculinity (The Butch Monologues 2014-2018, across the UK and New York City), trans and non-binary identities (Bullish, UK national tour 2016-18) and critical feminist thinking (Wild Bore 2017-current, Skirball Centre NYC, Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Soho Theatre London), amongst others.
After years of making collaborative multi-disciplinary work, Krishna’s first solo show, Beast 2019, directed by Zoe Coombs Marr (Bossy Bottom, Amazon Prime), is a part performance art, part stand-up comedy show, exploring the relationship between performance art and stand-up comedy, full of silly puns and trans jokes . It was commissioned by the city of Melbourne through Arts House, was developed through Culture Lab and is supported by public funds from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Currently, they are in Australia touring Beast and F*ck Fabulous (a variety show by Yana Alana commissioned by Sydney Mardi Gras and Arts Centre Melbourne). They are also working on a new commission from Roundhouse London co-writing a new play with Travis Alabanza and Emma Frankland for a company of young trans actors premiering in 2021 as part of the main season in the Sackler Space at Roundhouse.
Krishna’s first taste of making avante garde, form trans-gressing, trash-but-not-trash work started with their involvement with Duckie in London in 2013. Krishna has since worked with – Soho Theatre London, Chelsea Theatre London, National theatre London, Arcola Theatre London, Victoria and Albert Museum London, Pleasance Theatre London, Brighton Dome London, Latitude festival, Unity Theatre Liverpool, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Abron Arts Centre NYC, La Mama NYC, New York Theatre Workshop, Skirball Centre NYC, Arts Centre Melbourne, La Mama Courthouse Melbourne, Malthouse theatre Melbourne, Arts House Melbourne, First Draft Sydney, Sydney Festival, Arts House Melbourne, Sophiensaele Berlin, and at the International festival of feminism and public spaces (Germany).
Krishna also sits on the board of The Raze Collective UK, is an Arts Admin Bursary artist for year 2020-2021, runs workshops for trans / queer youth and lectures at universities ever so often.