Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour wrote a play that travelled the world in his place. The audience joins each performer on a journey into the unknown, stumbling upon the personal and profound, the limits of liberty and ultimately where theatre can take you.
Since the play's joint premiere in 2011 in Edinburgh and Summerworks festivals, White Rabbit Red Rabbit has been translated into more than 25 languages and been performed more than 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film. The six local actors performing in the play are Brylee Lamb, Angus Kelsey, Jane Pierard, Glenn Cook, Robert Hickey and Lisa-Jane Easter.
Repertory manager Glenn Cook says after so much uncertainty during lockdown, it is wonderful to be able to open the theatre again to the public.
"White Rabbit, Red Rabbit was a perfect option as no audition time is needed. There is some audience participation as I understand it. No rehearsals, no director, a sealed script and a different performer each night — that's all I can say. It's going to be amazing."
White Rabbit Red Rabbit shares the billing with multi-award winning Snap Time, written, and acted by John Cocking and supported on stage by Adrienne Hurley.
"We were looking for options that could be brought to the stage quickly once we reached alert level 1. John offered to present Snap Time again and needed minimal preparation time," Cook says.
Snap Time is a one-act, 40-minute play, fitting perfectly with White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, which had been presented to the theatre committee last year.
"However, we were unable to perform that as we already had a full schedule for 2019/2020. We have also had to postpone our mid-year production, as well as our youth and studio productions."
Snap Time, which will be performed over the two-week season, is derived from inspirational letters written by Cocking's father Lawrence Cocking ("Lol"), who lived and worked in Creswell Pit, Derbyshire.
"Snap Time will have all your emotions and senses heightened," Cook says.
■ The production has a strictly limited season from Thursday, July 16 to Saturday, July 25 at The Little Theatre, 76 McGrath St, Napier. Tickets are available from Napier Municipal Theatre, I-Site Hastings, I-Site Havelock North and www.napierrepertory.co.nz or email email@example.com