Nassim Soleimanpour
Traverse Theatre Company, Nassim Soleimanpour Productions and Bush Theatre
Traverse Theatre


The Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour became world famous as a result of his landmark 2011 theatrical experiment White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which was famously sent all across the world in script form to be performed blind, the result of which would create a unique performance for both audience and actor, who by the nature of the piece could not have seen the play or ever performed it before.

2023 sees the post-COVID return of his follow-up production, Nassim, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe stage. This Fringe First-winning 2017 play follows upon that concept but expands it technologically, thematically, as well as emotionally, drawing on the well of Soleimanpour’s love of his family and the beauty of his mother tongue, Farsi.

As before, this play relies upon a new actor taking the stage each night, one who has never seen the play as a rule. In the instance being reviewed, it was Christopher Eccleston, the Lancastrian character actor and ninth incarnation of Doctor Who. Eccleston brought a great deal of mirth, energy and at times a gentle solemnity to the strange theatrical journey, interacting with a large projector screen, reading translations of Farsi and relishing in some of the more quirky moments.

Without giving anything away, this proves to be a far more hands-on piece than White Rabbit Red Rabbit, and perhaps that's exactly why it has Soleimanpour’s name as the title. There’s more to it, of course, but rather than spoiling surprises here, it would be better to have your time spent well, and love of family reaffirmed by seeing Nassim.

It’s a truly beautiful tale that spans borders of countries, language and culture by peering into the honest truths of home and family at the heart of all people.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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