FRINGE 2015 – White Rabbit Red Rabbit – Royal Croquet Club: The Rastelli – 3.5K

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a fascinating concept. Written in 2010 by Iranian author Nassim Soleimanpour, the script is given to an actor on stage and they are then expected to cold read it to the audience.  The actor has as little idea of what to expect as the audience and it is up to them to interpret the script on the spot, aided only by the few props provided by the producers. It is similar to improvisational theatre in that no-one knows what will happen, but then also almost the complete opposite as there is a script which must be obeyed.

The script itself is very introspective and self-aware. It is a play about itself and is the author’s means of travelling the world, while he remains in Iran due to travel restrictions. It looks at concepts of time and how the past and the future can affect one another. It uses the white and red rabbits of the title in several ways to explore different ideas relating to beliefs and behaviours. It’s also just a lot of fun.

On opening night, the actor was Amber McMahon. A brave decision on her part, to be first cab off the rank; though ideally all of the actors involved over the season will keep themselves naïve to the intricacies of the show and not know what to expect. This is the key to the show working, as it’s really about the shared experience of the actor and the audience.

While the actor guides the performance, the audience is involved in a myriad of ways, and the actor relies on their input and good humour to carry off the show. McMahon succeeded in meeting the majority of tasks set for her, exhibiting wonderful improvisational abilities. The final sequence however, did not seem to play out how it was intended, leaving the show feeling less than complete. This appeared to be a result of a mixture of the assumptions of the script and McMahon’s interpretation of it. This was just one version of it though, and it is possible that on another night it will play out superbly. It is another unknown, and that is its charm.

Live performance possesses a sort of magic because there is always an element of uncertainty, a chance that things may not go as planned. This show accentuates this concept and creates an entertaining and interesting experience.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

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