Allowing myself to be open to be transformed by expereinces from art, day 7 at the Adelaide Fringe Festival became a demonstration of the power of live performance.
For instance, how can we actually measure the power behind words? How far do stories travel, and for how long? Can a writer truly be present with his/her words without physically being present?
What are the consequences to conformity?
These questions, and so much more, appeared in my mind as I witnessed the beautifully written play WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.
A performance that is genuine and simply breathtaking, WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT requires no rehearsal and no preparation (minus the setting of two glasses of water and a vile filled with an unknown substance) beforehand. A single actor, or ‘reader’ (last night featured Adelaide Fringe Festival staff member and actress Nadia Rossi), is handed the script in a sealed envelop at the start of the show. He or she is requested to simply read the script in front of the audience.
WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT offers freedom to the Iranian playwright who is restricted to travel outside his home country. In fact, in order for a man to be issued a passport, he must enlist in the Iranian military for 2 years. Unwilling to take this step before travelling, Soleimanpour sets his words free to the world travelling on his behalf. Where the play ends up, if the words will even be read, or even listened to, is completely unknown to Soleimanpour.
So many hidden messages appear in this beautiful play. After witnessing its power, I no longer wonder why the play has been translated into 20 different languages and has been performed over 1,000 times!
Simply and elegantly written by South Australian playwright Emily Steel, 19 WEEKS is another heart-wrenching and emotional piece of theatre. 19 WEEKS showcases an honest, intimate and the often difficult decision making many modern women make regarding the balance act of honing their femininity, defining their own moral compass and choosing between their own life or the life of a child.
Brilliantly staged in an unconventional space – the indoor pool at the Adina Apartment Hotel at Treasury – performer, Tiffany Lyndall Knight swims, splashes and submerges herself in and out of the water during poignant, dramatic and emotionally driven moments throughout the story.
As an audience member, the most rewarding moment was discovering that my emotional reaction did not stand alone. By the end of the performance, a ripple of sniffles and subtle movements to wipe away teary eyes trickled throughout the intimate room.
For more information on these productions, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Adelaide Fringe Festival website.