Playful, joyful and incredibly moving
This is a show that touches the heart. It’s theatre that uses many tools to tell us a story. A story that is gentle but close to the writer’s heart. To say too much would spoil the surprise, but what a surprise it is.
Today’s performance brings us Desiree Burch, an actor, writer and comedian from New York. She now lives in London, so is well placed to understand the themes of language and country barriers, though maybe not to the extent of the playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. Soleimanpour is an Iranian playwright, who was only allowed to travel for the first time in 2013. In his own words, he has written plays to travel the world when he can’t.
This is a piece about barriers, and trying to fit in. It is playful, joyful and incredibly moving. What Soleimanpour has created is very special. The set is simple. A chair, a desk, a projector and a microphone - with a large box on the desk. The box is the aforementioned ‘envelope’. In his previous show, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Soleimanpour instructed the actor via the script in their hand, but this time we finally get to meet the man himself, onstage with the rotating actor.
Burch deals with the unpredictable nature of the event very well. Taking control of the space and involving every person in the room. She is not only performing but, and this is rare in theatre, she is also genuinely experiencing everything for the first time, just as the audience is. We see our own reactions all over her face.
Soleimanpour’s writing is special. This is more of an event than theatre; incredibly interactive not only with the audience but with the outside world. We learn so much about him and his culture, and it’s so important for us in these changing times.