Traverse Theatre (Venue 15)
Tuesday 8th August 11.00
We first became aware of Nassim Soleimanpour in 2012 when we first saw the wondrous "White Rabbit/ Red Rabbit" with Pip Upton reading. Over the years Nassim has been kind enough to provide us a variety of reviews so I have been able to follow his astonishing story. Due to his refusal to complete national service he was denied an Iranian passport until a bad eye test meant he could finally leave the country and he now resides in Berlin.
"Nassim" is back to his original style of writing a play to be read by a different performer every day. On our day we had the
writer David Greig who was clearly anxious about what was about to occur.
The director reads the instructions and David is given a huge manuscript and so it starts. Following his instructions he duly
reads a beautifully simple story about a child at home with his mother. As the show progresses the instructions begin to
come from the screen behind him and it is clear Nassim is actively following and communicating with David.
To emphasise the role of communication in society Nassim tries to teach us all Farsi, his native language. But this is not
gentle ABC schooling, he is precise about pronunciation and any volunteer to come on stage and makes a mistake is
punished by eating a tomato.
Today is Tuesday and although we have had an excellent festival already we have yet to see the show that would engage us emotionally and intellectually. "Nassim" changed all that . Somehow the playwright managed to convey a complete understanding of his situation, past and present without speaking any words in English.
I deliberately haven't given away too much detail about what occurs as that would detract from the overall effect and I would prefer to just recommend you to go and enjoy a uniquely life-affirming and uplifting story.