White Rabbit Red Rabbit

Playwrights and theatre producers alike are increasingly taking bigger risks and becoming more creative when considering how their work is presented onstage. The paradigms of theatre are shifting and it could not be more true with this piece.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a fascinating and engrossing hour of thinly veiled social commentary and an edgy, contemporary take on the theatre genre.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is executed as a cold reading to be performed for the first and last time by a different actor every day. As Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour himself puts it, it is “not so much a play as an experiment.” The script addresses the actor directly, instructing them on what to do and when. The fourth wall is torn down from the start as we, the audience, are addressed and called to participate.

Being unable to travel due to his passport being revoked, Soleimanpour resorts to doing so through words, through this play. Over the course of the hour, he uses the actor as his voice not only to share stories about his life in Iran but also his thoughts on freedom, obedience and, morbidly, suicide. We also learn the meaning behind the play’s title which really is an insightful lesson on restraint.

How the entire piece plays out relies not only on the writer’s words but more importantly how the actor interprets and executes them. At the reading I attended, we had English comic Adam Riches who not only took to the challenge brilliantly but was also able to keep the audience engaged and invested from start to finish.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a fascinating and engrossing hour of thinly veiled social commentary and an edgy, contemporary take on the theatre genre. It is a bold social experiment which will have you at the edge of your seat in anticipation throughout and pondering deeply on the experience after.

Reviews by Faith-Ashleigh Wong

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The Blurb

No rehearsals. No director. No boundaries. A different performer reads the script cold for the first time at each performance. Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour wrote a play which travelled the world in his place. The audience joins a different performer each show, on a journey into the unknown; stumbling upon the personal and profound, the limits of liberty and ultimately where theatre can take you. Previous performers include Stephen Rea, Ken Loach, Marcus Brigstocke and Sarah Millican. 'Wildly unpredictable and completely unforgettable’ (New Zealand Herald). 'Thoughtful, playful response to oppression’ (Lyn Gardner).

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