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Since writing "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit in 2010 writer Nassim Soleimanpour has seen his play performed around the world and translated into 15 languages, although he hasn't actually seen it!  In February 2013 Soleimanpour saw it for the first time, prior to that every time White Rabbit Red Rabbit was staged, Soleimanpour requested that a front row seat was reserved for him.


But it remained empty each time.


Soleimanpour says he refused the two years of obligatory national service because he did not want to interrupt his theatre career, but when he went for a health check-up about a year ago, he discovered he was exempt. "Miraculously, I was diagnosed with an eye disorder in my left eye, which invalidates me for the service," he says, adding with a laugh: "Fortunately, I'm half blind."So he got a passport and saw White Rabbit Red Rabbit for the first time in person, in Brisbane.



Q- What can we expect from " Blind Hamlet" this year?


A- A play with no actors and sets.



Q- What prompted you to write it?


A- I had this idea to use my recorded voice to write a play. ATC and Ramin Gray found it interesting and followed up till we agreed to put it on stage.



Q- How was the rehearsal process in London?


A- I have only written two plays in my life and neither need rehearsals.  We spent all our time rewriting and on try outs.



Q- Is it more nerve-wracking having to follow the success of "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit"?


A- I had an opportunity to experiment with something new. Success is not a priority.



Q-When did you start writing and why?


A- My dad is a novelist. That might be why I started to write when I was very young.



Q- Who are your writing inspirations?


A- Anyone! I can be inspired by William Shakespeare or Echo my lovely dog.



Q- What is the theatrical scene like in Iran?


A- Not so different from London. Ah! I almost forgot women have to wear scarves in Iran.



Q- When you started writing "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit" was the play fully developed in your mind or did it evolve as you wrote it ?


A- FULLY developed. Not to mention it took me years to start the last draft.



Q- Were you surprised it touched such a nerve all over the world?


A- Happy but not really surprised. Rabbit is a machine designed to survive and travel in time and space.



Q- Was it an easy play to write?


A- Writing "Blind Hamlet"  I feel I had fun when writing White Rabbit Red Rabbit.



Q- How hard was it to hear the great reviews but not be able to see the play?


A- Not really hard. I don't fancy following my written plays. It's more fun to follow new ideas and try to write.



Q- So, were you apprehensive about finally seeing it?


A- It was a special night in my life. I remember I hid among the audience until a lady recognized my face thanks to the booklet of the festival.



Q- What emotions did you go through that night?


A- I felt I was meeting myself in the past. And I was a bit shy.



Q- Will you be in Edinburgh this year?


A- I'm afraid not. Thanks to ATC and British Council I have my UK visa in my pocket now, But I've spent my last three months away from home and my lovely family.

It's time to go back home and enjoy my "real" life.






Nassim Soleimanpour


Nassim Soleimanpour has an astonishing story.


Nassim is an Iranian playwright who could not get a passport because he refused to do national service. So he devised a play that could travel the world without him


Here he tells us about that play "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit", and his plans for 2014.