Blind Hamlet

Nassim Soleimanpour

Actors Touring Company

Assembly Roxy

From 01 August 2014 to 25 August 2014

Rating: *

Review by Catherine Lamm

Iranian writer, Nassim Soleimanpour is "speaking his play" during the final years of his vision. Actors Touring Company presents, or rather plays back, a recording of Soleimanpour during his final struggle with blindness.

But this is really two productions. First, we listen to this recording of his experiences. Second, and infinitely more interesting and entertaining, Soleimanpour on tape, with the assistance of the “stage manager”, bring the audience into a “game” of discovery.

What will happen when 6 strangers are engaged in a hypothetical crime and how will they and the audience assimilate and react to this game.

Although listening to Soleimanpour and his day-to-day experiences has some interest and value, it certainly does not make an audience-ready play.

Getting the audience involved in the murder mystery is entertaining and, in the end, very thought-provoking. We have to question how we interpret information and how we react to it.

Jacob Corn as the “stage manager” is utilitarian. The decision by director Ramin Gray to play the recording from a tiny, tinny recorder picked up by a single microphone distances the audience rather than engages. Making this decision sets up limitations.

This just doesn’t seem to come together until half-way through the hour and then there just isn’t enough to make is work.