White Rabbit Red Rabbit @ Summerhall

A critic meets his match

Review by Mark Harding | 23 Aug 2012
  • White Rabbit Red Rabbit

There's a tradition for the rookie's first day at the foundry where he's sent off to fetch a bucket of steam or get the glass hammer. I've now found the reviewing equivalent – going to see Nassim Soleimanpour's White Rabbit Red Rabbit. That's because the play is impossible to review.

What I can tell you is that there's a new actor for each performance. The actor hasn't seen the play, or the script until it's handed to him in a sealed envelope on the stage. The author is an Iranian, who, during the performance, will tell you the details you need to know about him. 

Almost anything else I could write would be a spoiler, and this is far too good a show to spoil. Besides, someone reading this might be a future actor. And I wouldn't want to ruin their surprises.

On the evening I attended, the actor was Alexander Kelly, who performed with aplomb, goodwill, and bravery. That last word is written without a trace of lovey-speak.

By the rules of its own game White Rabbit Red Rabbit can't be filmed or published. Using another theatrical phrase come true, it's 'pure theatre'. And it's a privilege to see it performed. Nassim Soleimanpour is a fiercely – even frighteningly – original voice, and a thrillingly adept craftsman.

For lovers of comedy, Agatha Christie, the absurd, playwriting skill, and meta-fictional headbanging. Go see.

Summerhall, 18, 20 & 22 Aug, 8:30pm. £10 (£8). http://www.summerhall.co.uk/2012/white-rabbit-red-rabbit/