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  • 20 October

    Gate Theatre

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    White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

    (Iran, Canada)

    Nassim Soleimanpour, Vocano

    With no director and no set, a different actor each night read a script penned by Nassim Soleimanpour, an Iranian playwright who, because he did not sign up for national service, found himself unable to leave his country.

    One of the most talked about shows at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe – White Rabbit, Red Rabbit – is a play in which the story and outcome are as much of a surprise for the performer as the audience.

    The actor had never read the script before. That’s just the first of many twists as members of the audience were then called on-stage to act out the other parts in Soleimanpour’s powerful parable. The playwright’s absence was symbolically marked by the empty chair reserved for him in the theatre, yet his presence was felt in every word, as he performed an act of theatrical ventriloquism with puppets who very much had minds of their own.

     

    Performers included Mark Watson, Tom Basden, Janet Suzman, Juliet Stevenson, Tamsin Greig and Arthur Darvill.


    It was an extraordinary, original experience I’ve never had before… LIFT is a fantastic festival, it always is. Its just so rich, such a tonic and so humbling to see work coming from other countries.

    Juliet Stevenson, performer in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

    ...a stunning piece of theatre, thought-provoking and morally unsettling. It's a wonderful testament to the power of words to transcend cultures and borders. It fully deserves five stars.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Fringe Review

    Main photo by Hilde Vanstraelen