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.

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

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,

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

"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.


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.