White Rabbit Red Rabbit

Nassim Soleimanpour's unique experiment prompts us all to ask what our levels of obedience are

★★★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 14 Aug 2011

Over at St George's West there’s a show exploring the idea of audience culpability and responsibility. It’s not Audience, currently making a big noise for its questionable ethics and shock tactics, but rather the infinitely more subtle White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Read cold by a different actor each day, we are asked to partake in a series of choices both for ourselves and them. We are told that this is an experiment, not a piece of theatre and are asked to look at the idea of separating oneself from the crowd, the fear involved in that decision, and its rewards and downfalls.

It is a completely democratic room because the performer is making all their choices at the moment of reading them. Sometimes, she is genuinely surprised by the actions she is asked to do, and by the ones she is asking us to carry out. What will playwright Nassim Soleimanpour ask us to do next?

Today, Bridget Christie takes up the mantle of being the body for Soleimanpour’s voice. Her natural playfulness brings a cheeky atmosphere to this experiment. It would be fascinating to see what a more solemn performer would bring, and what a more playful audience would do. Will the slightly disturbing ending always be the same and, if not, just what are our roles, as audience, performer and writer in its outcome? Whilst Audience may be grabbing the headlines, White Rabbit Red Rabbit is asking fascinating parallel questions in a truly unique format.