White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is, as its author recognises, ‘not so much a play as an experiment.’ An experiment in human morality as much as in theatre. Investing the script with incredible authority, Nassim Soleimanpour challenges the audience and actor to conform to the dramatic guidelines he has set out, raising wider questions surrounding autonomy and control. With a different actor reading the script cold each performance, these issues arise with a fresh intensity each time. Having been performed at the Fringe now for a number of years as well as internationally elsewhere, the play has become somewhat of a theatrical phenomenon.
It is an incredibly manipulative play, and aware of this fact. Stripped of a conventional narrative or even dramatic roles, it takes the actor out of their comfort zone and demands commitment on a more personal level. As Julia Taudevin, our actor for the afternoon, stands crying onstage whilst reading out the 18 different ways to commit suicide, the strain of this is clear. Artifice and reality merge to create a piece that offers greater truth about both the dramatic genre and humanity than your average piece of drama.