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White Rabbit, Red Rabbit
Published on Monday, 16 April 2012


The Nightingale (venue website)
4-10 May, 8:30pm-9:30pm

That over-used phrase, “high-concept”, feels irresistibly appropriate for this play.  Each night, a different actor is handed a letter; within it is a script they’ve never seen.  With no props, no director, and no rehearsal, they launch into the tale of a sinister animal experiment – layered with chilling allegories for the cruelties of humankind.

If that all sounds a little bit gimmicky, think again.  Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour is forbidden to leave his home country, so his all-important letter is a pragmatic way to make himself heard.  And the experiment works, said our reviewer Carmel Doohan at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe; empathy for the vulnerable, unrehearsed actor transfers readily to the stranded writer.  The letter contains a few instructions for the audience, too, so there’s every chance you’ll find yourself forming a more personal connection to the man in Tehran.

This show’s lengthy Brighton run comes on the heels of success in Edinburgh, and we can’t help pointing out one obvious flaw: now that the letter’s salient points are all over the Internet, can those nervously-waiting actors really resist a quick Google?  But let’s hope they do.  The raw immediacy is powerful, wrote Carmel, with the courage embodied in the letter plain for all to hear.  And judging by the buzz it created at its Edinburgh run, most of those who listened to it seem to agree.

Read our full review of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.