ABSOLUT Fringe 2012 | White Rabbit, Red Rabbit | Nassim Soleimanpour
Star Rating: 4/5
Venue: The New Theatre
Review by: Sarah Murphy
ABSOLUT(ely): A coup de theatre
In a nutshell: A well written play that the mystery actor has never read before
Best for: Those who enjoy political insight and the unexpected
Not for: Those who like their theatre served normal
DISCLAIMER: Seeing this play resulted in my ending up playing a bunny rabbit on stage and climbing a ladder to fight with my friend’s boyfriend over an imaginary carrot while Stephen Rae scolded me for being a bold bunny. Fact.
Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour was banned from travelling outside Iran due to an unserved military conscription, but, curious about the world outside, felt an impulse to travel as best he could with the means available to him. He wrote a play full of fitting allegory which allowed his voice to travel to lands he could not. The result is a script which is full of insights on his contained life, on his veiled frustrations with state interference, and the inexplicable competitiveness of human nature.
There are two prerequisite pieces of information you need to know:
1.) Each night, the writer is on stage through the medium of a different actor. ABSOLUT Fringe has lined up some real all stars including Stephen Rea, Olwen Fouéré, Amy Conroy and comedienne Maeve Higgins to take their turn. I was lucky enough to be in the audience for Rea’s performance. To see this man and his huge talent squished onto The New Theatre stage after watching him in such flicks as Michael Collins, Breakfast on Pluto, and The Crying Game was, to put it mildly, amazing.
2.) The actor does not read the script until they come on stage and unseal the envelop given to them. This means, even in the hands of Stephen Rae, we get the odd tumble over a line or shock at their need to act out an animal or direct audience members in mild to aggressive (see disclaimer) participation.
This is not a perfect play for everyone, but it is a beautiful exploration of where theatre can take you, where an actor can take an audience and how far the words of a writer can travel with or without his passport.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Thursday 13th September 2012 | Theatre