White Rabbit, Red Rabbit
Traverse Theatre – Cambridge Street
9th – 11th October £16
Enthral and intrigue pepper this evening’s anticipation as the audience settle down for this unique and individual performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit ; a ground breaking and challenging theatrical experiment by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. Unable to leave his native country due to his stance as a conscientious objector, he chooses instead to travel the world figuratively, by delivering his play worldwide through some of the biggest names in theatre and film, and proposing some profound and radical questions along the way.
The actor for this evening, Siobhan Redmond, accomplished both on stage and screen, is given the daunting task of having had no direction or rehearsals nor any glimpse of the script. She reveals the script for the first time from a sealed envelope on a stage reminiscent of some dark Shakespearean production, devoid of props, sparse and minimal, leaving everything to the acting and imagination.
Audience members are plucked randomly to join her on the sparse stage where we are encouraged to explore and consider profound, surreal and often poignant ideas, punctuated with wit and comedy, through the narrator of Solemanpour’s absent form. He explains his ability to taste and explore the cities he has dreamt about, to sit with the audience and discuss his concepts, communicating through time and space by virtue of his play. This is his means of connecting with the world he has been banned from exploring by the confines of the circus he is captive within. But his metaphorical connection with the world allows exploration, transcending both time and space, of the concepts of conformity, pacifism, obedience and control.
Is he still alive? He is talking to us onstage and the possibilities are there to be explored, but we are left with the answers ringing through our ears in the fashion of a Greek tragedy. Forever reliant on an improvisational, dynamic actor to maintain the fluidity, Siobhan Redmond does not fail to deliver with her effortless and charismatic storytelling abilities and sharp-witted narrative. This is a highly entertaining and interesting theatrical piece from an intelligent playwright which challenges some difficult social concepts. FOUR STARS
Reviewer Teri Welsh