Monday, 10 December 2012

FACES: WRRR at Gate Theatre (London, England)

Flickr photographer Aref Adib shared some great shots of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in London. Recognize that actor? It's Doctor Who's Arthur Darvill!




Take a look at the full gallery here.

VOICES: Notes from a Notetaker at Mercury Theatre (Colchester, England)

Matthew Linley shared his notes from a performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit on his blog: 

Post script (scribbled in the foyer)
I resist the urge to drink on the way out and in so doing answer at least one question. I do as I'm told. I leave gobsmacked.

Read the full text here.


REVIEW: WRRR at Mercury Theatre (Colchester, England)

Reviewed by Michael Grey for The Public Reviews. Read the full review here.

"'I wrote something, and I hope you laughed!' Nassim/Tomos [the actor] comments. We did, and we felt a frisson, a tangible rapport with the writer back in Tehran. Isolated from his public, Nassim uses his fertile imagination as a political tool. The rabbits of the title are part of a fable, an allegory about his uncle and rabbits who, like Pavlov's dogs, learn behaviours which persist even when the stimulus is removed. This is a grim, black Aesop, where bears harrass rabbits and crows with walkie-talkies are hidden in the rafters. And after thirty seconds of fun our thoughts are directed toward suicide."

REVIEW: WRRR at Dublin Fringe (Ireland)

Posted on The Flaneur. Read the full review here.

"Soleimanpour bravely rebels in the only way he can, through his words. It is an imaginative endeavour bringing the audience to him as he cannot come to us. He takes us out of our world for a mere hour and asks us to ponder what his life is like so many miles away."

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

FACE: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in Edinburgh

Actor Alexander Kelly performs White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe:



FACES: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in Italy

Actor Marina Confalone performs White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in Viterno, Italy as part of Festival Quartieri dell'Arte:




VOICES: New Haven Review (New Haven, CT)

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit was at Yale Cabaret this month. The New Haven Review has a great post online about the performances:

"Soleimanpour, as the absent presence in his play, needles us and nudges us and banters with us, all the while insisting that he can only have any affect upon us via theatre - he lives in Iran and can't leave his homeland, so theatre becomes his vicarious form of travel. And where does he travel to? Why, to our free society, of course, only to impose upon his audience and his volunteers as much as his autocratic imagination can devise, while undermining that relation as much as possible. We, the audience, have to decide how much we'll go along with. We're free to leave or intervene, or to refuse his commands.

...

"The best thing the play has going for it is that Soleimanpour has found a neat staging of his situation: in writing the play and putting his name to it, he doesn't know what will happen to him. In volunteering to be in the play, The Actor doesn't know what will happen either. Because of polite conventions in the "free world," probably nothing bad (the clean glass). But there are exceptions - ask Salman Rushdie, as the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three of his staff members who had nothing to do with a crappy film defaming Mohammad that happened to surface on their watch. Soleimanpour makes theatre. It might prove fatal (the poisoned glass)."

Read their full report on the performances here.

VIDEO: At Festival Quartieri dell'Arte (Viterbo, Italy)

The good people at Festival Quartieri dell'Arte in Viterbo, Italy have uploaded some great videos of their presentation of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. We've posted the first here:



Head over to YouTube for the full set!

VOICES: Jenn Stephenson (Kingston, ON)

Jenn Stephen, Associate Professor at Queen's University, unpacks White Rabbit, Red Rabbit on her performance research blog following its presentation at the school in September. Some questions she's still mulling over:

"Is it even possible to have theatrical performance by a non-actor? Can an 'unfictionalized' actor successfully subvert the fictionalizing power of the theatrical frame? And if, the frame is subverted in this way, is it still theatre? Or has the whole event evaporated back into life?"

Her full analysis can be read here.

VOICES: Nicola Harwood (Vancouver)

In a blog post earlier this month, Nicola Harwood relates her feelings after seeing White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Cultch in Vancouver. The full impact of the show only hit her once she was back in the real world:

"I hit the street and burst into tears. Completely unexpected. The show had not seemed sad or angry while I watched it - it was wry, funny, a little dark and a little demanding. But I did not feel it manipulate me emotionally to feel angry or sad. I felt these emotions in my body, as my body moved through space away from the man lying on the floor. I was culpable, I was free and he was not, and he was angry and very sad, alone and in danger."

Read the full post on her blog. We're glad you had such a meaningful experience with the show!

VOICES: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in the Queen's Journal (Kingston, ON)

Professor Kim Wenders receiving the script. Photo by Tiffany Lam.
Queen's University drama professor Kim Renders took on White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in September in a performance that left a Queen's Journal reviewer too "gobsmacked" at times to take notes. You can read the full review on their website.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

VOICES: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Trust Nassim (by Peter Daly)

Actor Peter Daly reflects on his performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in the Irish Times:

Peter Daly
"The audience is applauding. I have to assume it is my stupidity that they are celebrating.

I am now alone on stage. I give the audience a cheesy grin. I am being cheap. I am hoping I will win them over by letting them know that I know how ridiculous this proposition is and that we all know it will never work. They laugh. Never underestimate cheapness.

I much-too-carefully place the envelope beside the two glasses of water on the single small table on stage. It is a delaying tactic. I feel that until I read the first line on the first page that I won't have really started. And if I haven't started, I haven't yet begun to fail.

I look at the audience again and raise an eyebrow as if to say, here we go. Again, they give a small laugh. It relaxes me. It suggests that there is a chance that they want this to work as much as I do."

Read the full piece here.

AWARDS: Absolut Fringe 2012 (Ireland)

Gina Moxley


Congratulations to Gina Moxley, who won the Next Stage Wild Card Award for her performance in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at Absolut Fringe in Dublin! Read the full list of winners and nominees at fringefest.com.

VOICES: Nassim on the BBC

Have a listen to this BBC podcast, including an interview with Nassim! Click here.

VOICES: Straight.com on Randomness and Risk at The Cultch (Vancouver)

Colin Thomas of Straight.com put White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in context with Blind Date, another show performing at The Cultch in Vancouver. While distinct on the surface, both embrace randomness and risk as means to drive forward performance.

You can read the full article here. An excerpt from Nassim's interview:

"Soleimanpour is quick to point out that the play's themes speak to issues that go beyond the borders of his country. 'I don't know why everyone likes to interpret the play as talking about my fucking political situation in Iran,' he complains. Being seen as a critic of the government is risky and, as he explains, 'The play is working without me in your country.'

Still, there's no denying the impact of the evening's most concrete image: an empty chair in the front row that speaks to the playwright's absence.

Soleimanpour remembers a Brazilian man who emailed him to share his experience of White Rabbit. The man entered the theatre with his mom, who joked that they should sit next to the absent author and talk to him. The man demurred, saying, 'I don't know any words in Persian.' But later he wrote to Soleimanpour: 'We sat somewhere else, and then we came to this part of the play where you say, 'I'm not going to be at the show; maybe you have to keep an empty chair for me.' Suddenly, I started to cry and I thought to myself, 'I have to go back to my place and send you this email. Whenever you have your passport, you have a chair at my place. My mom will cook you something. And then we're going to sit and drink some beers together.'

In Iran, Soleimanpour received this email and wept."

REVIEW: 4 Stars from Entertainment.ie

****4 Stars (out of five) from Entertainment.ie:

"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 Rea scolded me for being a bold bunny. Fact."

...

"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."

Read the full review here.

REVIEW: 4 Stars From Irish Times

****4 Stars (out of 5) from Irish Times:

Academy Award
nominee Stephen Rea
[The actor] "was the effortlessly charismatic Stephen Rea, but through direct address, good-humoured audience involvement, comic allegory and philosophical provocation, Soleimanpour is the more conspicuous figure. It helps that Rea, despite his fame, is an actor who can disappear - and that he does a good ostrich impression."

Read the full review here.

VOICES: Randomness and Uncertainty (blog)

A few thoughts on White Rabbit, Red Rabbit from the blog Randomness and Uncertainty:

"Sometimes, not many, but sometimes one encounters a piece of art - it could be a painting, a film or a photo - that, by its uniqueness and originality, hypnotizes. It makes you pay it your whole attention, keep your eyes on it for as long as possible. Hypnotizes."

Read the full post here.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

VOICES: Carlos Canhameiro (Brasil)

From: Carlos Canhameiro
Date: Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 6:24 AM
Subject: The End
To: nassim.sn@gmail.com

Murderer


VOICES: Sabrina Alves (São José do Rio Preto)

On Sun, Jul 14, 2012 at 6:01 AM, Sabrina Alves wrote:


Hi,

(I don't know if the e-mail that the actor said in the play is true, but I'll try it anyway lol)

I liked your play so much. Congratulations...Made me feel that strange sensation that the good plays do!

=)

Hugs

Sabrina

2012/7/15 nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>


Hey sabrina,
You got me. The E-mail is true.

Kiss,
n

From: Sabrina
Date: Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: Play White rabbit red rabbit
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

Hey!

That's so nice! After sending you that e-mail, I looked in google and I found your blog, with the pictures of the performances around the world, including in my city, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brasil! And the impressions of the public...That was a really great play, and I hope I can see other plays written by you!

Thanks for answer!

ps: while I was watching, I was so afraid with the possibility to go to the stage and participate, because I am so shy...ahaha. And I thought that maybe this is the feeling (the fear) that people (or the red rabbit) who is always watched tastes...I had a very good time! =D

Kiss from brasil! =D

FACES: Rabbits in Brazil

Sent from Jose Roberto
Sent from Homero Ferreira
Sent from Carlos Canhameiro

VOICES: Nassim and Jon Plackett (London)

Sent during the show...


From: Jon Plackett
Date: Sat, Jul 14, 2-12 at 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: From latitude festival, uk
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

Here's the rest. How are you?
The actor is doing his rabbit impression now.


On 14 Jul 2012, at 18:41, nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com> wrote:

How many audience members are in the hall???

From: Jon
Date: Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: From latitude festival, uk
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

There are about over 300 of us. We wouldn't let him drink the water. We recommended a cup of tea instead - very British! Great play. Do you always know when it's going to be performed so you can reply?


On 14 Jul 2012, at 20:14, nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com> wrote:

No - LOL - I was just check my E-mails. This was/is a new experience about WRRR even for me.
It was really cool.

From: Jon
Date: Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Subject: Re: From latitude festival, uk
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

Glad we could help! I guess it will become more and more common as technology moves on. Maybe you'll get skyped in one of these days. Although I guess that would ruin it a bit!

It's a very interesting and intelligent play. It left us all with a lot to think about. I work as a writer in advertising here in London - we often find that the most creative solutions come from the biggest problems and I think that's true here too.

Jonny

FACES: The White Rabbit on July 14 (London)

From: Emma Byrne
Date: Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Subject: Your white rabbit...
To: nassim.sn@gmail.com, Zoe Goodacre

Is Zoe
:)


VOICES: Nassim and Nick Chapman (London)

Sent during the show...

On Sat, July 14 2012 at 9:41 PM, Nick Chapman wrote:

Hi Nassim

We are watching Marcus act your play at Latitude.

Good luck

Nick (no 12)

From: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>
To: Nick
Sent: Sat Jul 14 18:21:38 2012
Subject: Re: Hi watching your play

Hey Nick
What's up? Did Marcus drink any of the glasses????
Warmest,
nassim

From: Nick
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>
Sent: Sat Jul 14 2012 at 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: Hi watching your play

Nassim
I read out your email at Marcus' request. About 400 people say that they are greatly enjoying your play.
Nick

From: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>
To: Nick Chapman
Sent: Sat Jul 14 18:39:48 2012
Subject: Re: Hi watching your play

400 people??? Is that the audience number????

From: Nick
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>
Sent: Sat Jul 14 2012 at 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: Hi watching your play

Yes. That's what Marcus said. We asked him not to drink the water, and he decided to do what we asked.

FACES: Rabbits at Latitude (London)

From the July 14, 2012 performance.

Photo by Zoe Goodacre


VOICES: Nassim and Liz Isaac (London)

Sent during the show...


On Sat, Jul 14 2012 at 9:48 PM
Subject: Your play.
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

Watching your play at Latitude. Are you alive we wonder?

From: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 21:50:17 +0430
To: Liz
Subject: Re: Your play.

YESSSSSS..... I'm alive... What about your actor????

From: Liz
Date: Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Subject: Re: Your play.
To: nassim Soleimanpour <nassim.sn@gmail.com>

He is for now!

FACES: Stage Shots at Latitude Festival (London)

The view for Sydney on July 14, 2012

The view for N. Wallace on July 14, 2012

Friday, 13 July 2012

VOICES & FACES: Mary Hill (London)

While the script has the actor repeating how to spell "Nassim" the sn is sometimes unclear, so if I'm supposed to send this to .sm I'll find out soon enough.

I think the only thing that was unclear about my notetaking was you would say notetaker, and then continue on. I never found out the reason why I was supposed to take notes (though I had a guess) but just as that was about to be said, Arthur just yelled GUN. So I still took the notes.

I get a lot of what you were saying about being passive observers, but when I come to the theatre I come prepared to go with the script because it's more fun if you go along with the story being told. If an actor asks for audience participation, I'll participate. If I'm asked a question, I'll answer. If I'm sat on by an actor and he begins to comment on the show, I'll comment back. (This happened once. The actor wasn't really prepared for that though...) So for me it has made sense about white rabbits and red rabbits, bears, circuses, cheetahs and etc, but it's still a separate occasion, a different mindset.

As of five minutes after the show Arthur still looked good, so I'm going to hope that he chose the regular water and/or it wasn't poison. He said the only thing he had been told to do is look up ostriches and the first video that popped up was a man who was dressed as an ostrich being attached by an ostrich.

Have you been out of Iran yet, or are you still trapped? I'm from San Francisco but I'm in London for 8 weeks to study Shakespeare.

Mary


With actor Arthur Darvill




FACES: Daniel MacIvor at Magnetic North (Calgary)

Canadian theatre legend Daniel MacIvor looking pretty pleased after his performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (obviously didn't drink from the poisoned glass...)

Photo by Ken Cameron


Opening Night in Brazil

Photo from Gabriel Barone:


VOICES: Renato Alves (São José do Rio Preto)

Hello, Nassim!

My name is Renato, I'm from Brazil and I'm 22 years old.

I just watched White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and I'm really, really excited about it - the interaction, the excellent writing, the personal tone...so many things I considered amazing.

And I got so moved by its essence: thinking that no  matter where we live, we are joined by thoughts, ideas and common feelings, and that words can connect us forever...is more than just true: it's magnificent. The kind of thing that changes us.

I was one of the rabbits on the cage scene, but I don't have any picture here with me. I hope that the guy in the audience sends it to you soon.

Congratulations for the play. I can't stop revisiting it in my head. Hope you're fine while reading this!

Renato
São José do Rio Preto, Brazil (July, 13, 2012)

ps. Kelzy Ecard is the actress who read White Rabbit, Red Rabbit for us tonight. Sweet and funny lady.
ps2. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in Portugeuse is "Coelho Vermelho, Coelho Branco" :)

VOICES: Paul Hackworth (London)

Hi Nassim,

I hope this email finds you well. Yesterday, I attended a performance of your place at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, West London, with Tamsin Greig as the "actor." Tamsin is one of the best actors we have in the UK (or anywhere for that matter), and she brought a lot of personality and emotion to her reading of the play. Her evocation of cheetahs pretending to be ostriches is something that will stay in my mind for a long time - I only hope that someone captured it on video so that you can see it one day.

I am sending you a photo of Tamsin, with five "obligatory volunteer" rabbits - the lady on the left is from Iran.


The one thing I wanted to say to you is this - why does anyone feel the need to volunteer to read the final part of the play, the last two pages? Surely if no-one volunteers, the suicide machine cannot kill? I wanted to shout out to tell the other audience members not to volunteer, but also didn't think anyone would, and I was surprised that so many did, since you'd made the outcome fairly obvious. For me, talking to an actor on stage is a pretty extreme example of "breaking the fourth wall" (or is that the fifth?), so I wasn't ready to go a stage further and tell other audience members to ignore an explicit instruction from the playwright.

I will close by wishing you all the best for the future, and I hope you continue to send us such thought-provoking plays, and that one day you will be allowed to travel to see them performed.

Good luck,

Paul Hackworth

VOICES: Sandra and John (London)

Hello Nassim,

We saw White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Gate Theatre in London on Sunday, July 1st. We both agree that we have never seen anything like this before and we were totally absorbed from beginning to end. The actor was the wonderful Tamsin Greig who delivered the script brilliantly. Her "ostrich" was so good it's hard to believe she was reading the script for the first time.

The audience tried to persuade the actor not to drink the water and one person took direct action and emptied both glasses on the floor. It didn't work. Tamsin drank the last few drops and wiped the glass out with her finger to get every last drop.

It was a roller coaster of emotions and a wonderful piece of writing.

We hope that one day you will be able to join your audience around the world.

Thank you and good luck.

Sandra and John

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

VOICES: The Blog @ Boston Court

Thoughts from a blogger on White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. Hope she'll get to see it some day!

"Theatre is an experience: one that is shared between the production staff, the cast, the audience, and the playwright. I have never been to, or heard of, a production that has so poignantly touched so many people, and affected people so strongly in a way that they feel the need to reach out to the playwright to thank them for that experience. But, in my opinion, that's how strongly it should affect people. Maybe I just expect too much, but since theatre is a live event, and there is no screen that acts as a middle man, then the connection should be that deep and should be that moving. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is one of those shows that people continue to think about and discuss far after the play is done, and I'm so pleased that theatre still has the power to do that today."

Read the full blog post on The Blog @ Boston Court.

FACES: Flickr captures WRRR on July 1

Take a look at this great photo set from Mehrdad Aref-Adib on Flickr!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aref-adib/sets/72157630377885642/


Photos from the July 1, 2012 performance at The Gate in London, England. Performed by Arthur Darvill.

VOICES: Eloisa De la Maza and Nassim Soleimanpour

Subject:
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 16:07:10 +0100

Dear Nassim

I hope this email finds you well.

I have now been to my third Wrrr and I have loved it, third time even better! London 14.00 hrs BST

I managed to take a picture for you not too good. This time I really thought the audience was going to save the actor!

Many told Tamsin that she had a choice in drinking it or not! I thought this time ....

Anyway at the end all of us let her drink the poison!

I am now having a break for the last show, I will write to you once it finishes.

Best wishes
Eloisa


Subject: Re: FW:
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 22:03:43 +0430

Oh my!!! 4 times... Let me know what happensssss...

nassim


Subject: RE:
Date: Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 11:45 PM

We complied and assisted all the actors in their suicides!

I saw some other crows too! I was getting a little worried with my obsession of WRRR, but not alone

I didn't have the courage to get up and read the end of the script but I now know for certain I don't want to be a white rabbit in my life even if it's the worst kind of suicide so thank you ever so much for the eye opener that WRRR has been to me

Best wishes
Eloisa


FACES: Rabbits at The Gate (London), July 1

From the July 1, 2012 performances at The Gate in London.

With actor Arthur Darvill

With actor Tamsin Greig

With actor Tamsin Greig

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

VOICES: Nigel Campbell (London)

Dear Nassim

I have just seen (and participated in) White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, here in London as part of the London International Festival of Theatre. I was number 9, The Bear, which is very apt, as I have a beard and gay men (as I am) with beards are called Bears here in the UK!

You will be very gratified to know that the play was performed superbly by award winning actress Juliet Stephenson, who interpreted your words with grace, poise, feeling and humour. It was a privilege to witness such a fantastic and innovative piece of writing being performed with such expertise. We have left Juliet on the stage, but hope she will be joining us for a drink shortly, as long as the poison wasn't real. Fingers crosed.

Thank you very much. And good luck.
Nigel

Juliet Stephenson

VOICES: Alan Marks (London)

Hello Nassim

My name is Alan Marks.

I read as White Rabbit (no: 11) in this afternoon's performance at the Gate Theatre Notting Hill London with Janet Suzman as the Actor.

I was shocked but excited to be picked from the audience to close your play.

Janet was excellent in the part - nearly as good as me.

A very good play.

Well done for writing it and thank you.

I hope this email is still active and that it reaches you.

Best regards
Alan

FACES: Rabbits at Lift (London)

Some great photos from the audiences at Lift:

June 24, 2012 - photo from Thomas Pratchett

June 24, 2012 - photo from Hamish MacPherson

June 24, 2012 - photo from Simon Cuthbertson

June 24, 2012 - photo from Alice

June 24, 2012 - photo from Simon Cuthbertson

June 24, 2012 - photo from Liz Curran

June 24, 2012 - photo from Liz Curran

June 24, 2012 - photo from Liz Curran

VOICES: Tristan Bernays (London)

Dear Nassim,

I hope that this finds you well - my name is Tristan, I am a 27 year old writer from London and I have just returned from seeing your play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Gate Theatre, London. I was asked to be note-taker for the show (technically, I volunteered, as I'll take any old excuse to put pen to paper) and, seeing as you asked me to keep notes, I thought it only right that I should share them with you.

First, I loved your show. Or should I say our show? for though you captured the first spark of inspiration and moulded the script into its final shape, all the people involved - Janet Suzman the actor who performed your script, the audience members who pretended to be rabbits and bears and cheetahs and ostriches, myself who took notes, the others who timed on their watches and took photos on their iPhones - all of us worked together to make that story. We were all responsible.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit seems to be just about that: responsibility. Not only on a political level but on a personal level. I felt like you were asking me to take charge and get involved. It was, like the best theatre, empowering and inspiring. So thank you for that.

I hope you are proud of your work and how it has allowed you to travel. I have always wanted to visit Iran. Last year, my ex-girlfriend and I planned to travel the Middle East - Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iran - but with the Arab Spring it made it a tricky prospect so that plan had to be set aside (I say ex-girlfriend but don't worry - the Arab Spring my have ruined our travel plans but it was not responsible for us breaking up). One day I hope that I shall visit Iran, and I shall be able to meet you in person, to shake your hand and talk with you about this and that. But even more, I hope that you, like your work, shall be able to travel - to visit London perhaps (there are so many places to choose from) - and there we shall get to meet.

In the meantime, thank you for your wonderful words and good luck with those still to come.

Until we meet,
Tristan

Thursday, 21 June 2012

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in The Guardian

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit: the play that asks you to leave your phone on
Safraz Manzoor
The Guardian | June 21, 2012

The Guardian ran a profile of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit for its performances at Lift this month. Here are some thoughts from the performers:

"It takes you by surprise because it is so funny and silly at the start," said [Tom] Basden, "and then things start to develop which are quite surprising and dramatically interesting: at the heart of it is the idea of someone trying to speak through someone else and the question of what censorship means."

Juliet Stevenson: "It is unlike anything I have ever done before but I like jumping out of the comfort zone - it is good to do something that is a bit scary...Plus I have the perfect excuse if it doesn't go well...because I can say that I am under-rehearsed."

"Having the actor not see the script beforehand gives you a profound sense of the writer's voice in the room," explained [Chris] Haydon [Gate artistic director]. "The spontaneity of an actor reading a script for the first time and discovering it with the audience gives complete authority and power to the writer's voice, and the way that voices control people is an intrinsic theme in the play."

Read the full article here.

FACES: Rabbits in Calgary

June 20, 2012 at Magnetic North

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

REVIEW: Calgary Herald

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit Review
Bob Clark
Calgary Herald

**** (out of 5)

"You can count on the fingers of an armless man the number of times a playwright asks his solo actor at the end of a play to make a blind choice between life and death, between a glass of water and a glass of poison. But that's the request made by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour of Edmonton actor Sheldon Elter in the final pages of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit on Monday at Big Secret Theatre...

...Throughout the play, Elter proves an engaging presence obviously up to the challenge of what amounts to a unusual, absorbing, and altogether personal kind of theatrical deconstruction."

Read the full review here.

REVIEW: Getdown.ca (Calgary)

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit engaging and thoughtful in actor's hands
Jenna Shummoogun
Calgary

"The play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit brings audience members, an actor and the playwright to a critical moment. The moment where they all meet...White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is more of an experience in a theatre than a play. Its ability to engage the viewer rests wholly on the actor who is reading that night..."

Read the full review here.

Monday, 18 June 2012

VOICES: Ella Haggis (Calgary)

Dear Nassim Soleimanpour,

I saw your play tonight for its opening night of the Magnetic North Festival here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

First and foremost, I owe you thanks.

Thank you for connecting me to the world again.

Not only was I physically connected to your play by getting to be a "white rabbit" (number 3) tonight, but your ability to tell a brilliant story and make us as an audience all feel so present was very affecting. Before seeing your play, I too felt disconnected (in a very different way). Canada is a great country, but sometimes I feel as though I'm in the middle of nowhere, seeing the same things every day. I long to get out and see more of the world. Your play, your blog, and the thought of experiencing the same writing as people all over the globe gave me tremendous hope again.

As well, the theatre that I saw it in was the same one that I had the opportunity to have my own work workshopped in only a few months ago. I'm seventeen, and an aspiring writer. I was first drawn to your play partly out of curiosity, but partly because the next thing I'd like to work on is a one-person, one-act play. I went to learn and enjoy. In return I was taught, entertained, questioned, and affected. Thank you again for inspiring a young heart.

Peace & Love,
Ella Jean Haggis

Plays as Passports - Magnetic North (Calgary)

Plays Become Passports for Iranian Writers
The Globe and Mail
Marsha Lederman
June 12, 2012

"Two Iranian-born playwrights: One lives in Tehran and can't leave the country; the other, now living in Canada, can't return to Iran. They're both 30, part of the generation born after the Islamic revolution. And these restrictions on their travel and the resulting isolation for these men have formed the basis of first-person autobiographical theatre pieces. The Canadian work was inspired, in part, by faraway protests, and the playwright himself is now active on the streets of Montreal. The Iranian work has become a protest in and of itself. Both of these works, coincidentally, will be performed at this year's Magnetic North Theatre Festival, which opens in Calgary..."

Read more from The Globe and Mail here.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at Magnetic North (Calgary)

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is on stage NOW in Calgary at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Last night, Canadian theatre legend Daniel McIvor gave a stunning opening night performance. If you're in Western Canada right now, don't miss it!

Daniel McIvor performs at Magnetic North on June 17, 2012
You can read Nassim's interview with The Calgary Herald here, as well as a Magnetic North overview with Fast Forward Weekly here.

Any purchase tickets here!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

FACES: Rabbits in Montreal

From the June 2 performance at OFFTA Festival d'arts vivants in Montreal.


VOICES: Jean-Philippe Tastet (Montreal)


Salam Nassim Agha. 

Vu Lapin blanc, lapin rouge hier soir au Théâtre d'aujourd'hui à Montréal, QC, Carrés rouges, Canada.

Intéressant exercice de réflexion. 

Revu le film « Les chats persans » en rentrant à la maison.

Plusieur parallèles.

Merci beaucoup de partager. 

Bonne continuation.

Jean-Philippe

Des lapins à Montréal 2 juin, 2012

VOICES: Garrance (Montreal)


Hello Nassim,

By this email, in hope of reciprocity, I will try to answer a couple of the questions you have asked me tonight.

My name is Garance, I'm 21 years old, and I saw, tonight, Sunday the 3rd of june, your show White rabbit, Red Rabbit. I saw the show in Montreal (Quebec, Canada).  It was read to us in french.

That said, I would also like to share with you something that happened tonight...
The actress, to which your text was giving, cried when she read the part about your passport.  She literally burst out in tears, on the stage, with your words in her hands.

The fact that you can't physically travel is quite unfortunate and you see me empathic. Although, it was important for me to tell you that, tonight, you did travel. You travelled threw our souls.

Sincerely,

Garance

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

FACES: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in Greece

Check out these great shots of the White Rabbit, Red Rabbit performances that happened in Greece. You can see L'I.F.A.'s full photostream here.




VOICES: Jubilith Moore (San Francisco)


Dear Nassim,

My name is Jubilith Moore and I recently had the honor of being an actor in your play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival.  It was a very interesting challenge for me and did not cater to my strengths, if I have any, as a performer.  I committed myself to going in completely ignorant and it was a neat exercise in being present.  

Participating in this production and getting to read your words was very affecting.  I now find myself wanting to reach out to you, along with many others, to thank you.  Thank you for writing a simple (please note, I did not say  easy!) script and for taking such good care of me.  A truly meta-theatrical experience that brought the 51 of us in the room and you together.

Audience members were still talking about the performance more than an hour after the end of the performance!  I congratulate you and again thank you.  Now, I look forward to learning more about your work.

Keep up the brilliance and please

Take Great Care,

Jubilith

VOICES: Rik Eckhardt (The Netherlands)


Dear Nassim,

Yesterday I visited the play 'White rabbit, red rabbit' at Speeltheater Holland in Edam, The Netherlands. 

Your play was performed in Dutch by one of my countries great actresses Betty Schuurman. It was a very special and unique experience to be part of it as a member of the audience. Especially because I was the note taker. Hereby I send you the notes I took while watching the play, I had my Ipad with me so I wrote it down right away, there is no censorship in my notes. Of course it's written in Dutch, to prove your play has been translated and played in The Netherlands. When you want to read it, I suggest you use google translate so you can choose whatever language you want to understand my writing.

I want to thank you for sharing your story with us. I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a country you can't get out of and to live in fear. I hope your writing and your arts will help you to give hope to yourself and the people you love. I wish you all the best. For me, attending the play was a wonderful experience and I want to thank you for that.

Hope is what drives us!

Kind regards and best wishes for the future,

Rik Eckhardt
The Netherlands

Ps: I also attached a blurry picture I took with my Ipad... :)


Rik's Notes:

Nasim 10-12-1981.
Betty schuurman is een meisje van 49. Ze ziet er jong uit
Nummer 6 zegt dat het zondag is. 27 mei. Als ze harder praat is het nog steeds zo.
Hij is 29, vol hoop en energie.
Paspoort na 2 jaar militaire dienst.
Nasim heeft dat niet, het zijn de regels van de circus.
Als schrijver heb je geen paspoort nodig.
We zijn nu in edam. Nasim is in Chiraz. Er zijn bittersinasappels.
We houden een stoel voor hem bezet.
Het stuk is vertaald en het engels.
Bloedgroep: o positief.
Nasim is zwaar behaard. Hij heeft facebook.
In iran wordt facebook gefilterd.
Nassim.sn@gmail.com
De notulist maakt een foto.
Er zijn mooie vrouwen. Ze lachen.
De actrice is een cheetah die een struivogel immitatie doet.
Ik ben een rood konijn.
Waar liggen bij u de grenzen der gehoorzaamheid?
Als de politie komt voor onderzoek over nassim dan stellen ze heel veel vragen.
Leeft Nassim nog wel?
Er zijn heel veel mogelijkheden.
Moord is een groot woord.
De actrice heeft geen idee dat ze haar leven waagt.
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk is het gif nep.
Het gaat om de mogelijkheid, niet weten of...
De oom van nassim heeft rood konijn geschoten, maar het lukte niet.
De oom heeft een zelfmoordpoging gedaan, meerdere.
Vijf konijnen lijden honger in een kooi.
Ze worden gekozen uit het publiek. Sommigen melden zich vrijwillig aan. Betty houdt niet van dwang.
De vijf doen konijnentandjes.
Het verhaal over de konijnen gaat vrij snel. 1 konijn wordt rood geverfd, rest in koud water ondergedompeld.
Dadels is een wortel.
Jongen in paars is eerst bij de wortel. Toch is hij een klootzak.
Geen koud water meer, maar konijnen vallen toch de rode konijn aan.
Wortel uit het spel. Toch blijft resultaat hetzelfde.
Verleden maakt toekomst.
Straks door met zelfmoord. Nu even iets anders.
30 seconden intermezzo, konijn naar circus.
17 manieren voor zelfmoord. Vuurwapen, aders doorsnijden, verdrinking, verstikking, electrocutie, explosie, ophangen, springen uit voertuig, ongeluk, hoogte, vergiftiging, verbranding, hara kiri of sepuku, hongerstaking, onthoofding, zelfmoordaanslag, indirecte middelen
LEVEN is ook zelfmoord.
Het leven gaat om kleine dillema's
De actrice zou zich minder op haar gemak beginnen te voelen.
Wat is het schone glas?
Is nummer 5 een kraai of een beer?
Is het gif echt?
Er zijn drie opties om uit te kiezen.
Niemand zal de uitvinder van het geweer voor de rechter slepen.
Nassim is niet verantwoordelijk.
Wij als publiek zijn schuldig.
Misschien heeft de actrice haar laatste zinnen gesproken.
Een mevrouw meldt zich aan.
Ze draagt een groene jurk.
De actrice heeft beide glazen heel serieus vast.
We mogen haar NIET aanraken.
Er ontstaat een discussie over wel of niet drinken.
Betty heeft zelf drinken mee.
Het is volbracht konijn. 

FACES: Rabbits in Edam (The Netherlands)