The organiser says:
Blind Hamlet is a new ‘play’ by Nassim Soleimanpour, and an Iranian theatre maker, probably best known in this country for White Rabbit Red Rabbit – an award winning play with no director, no rehearsals and no set. It did at least have that safety net that actors appreciate, a script. Blind Hamlet does not even have that, apart from a page provided to reassure the volunteer actors that they are not alone in this adventure that Soleimanpour wants us to share together.
The stage is empty, the lights go down, we wait. When will the play start? Then the stage manager comes forward from the wings to place a Dictaphone on the stage floor. He presses start and the playwright starts talking to us from a recording made thousands of miles away. He is recording his thoughts on writing, on his father, on Hamlet a play he has never read but has heard his father recite. It is in fact his father’s Dictaphone. We learn that the playwright cannot see too well, that reading and writing have become hard for him. Hospital appointments have become part of his day-to-day life. He has become an observer of other people’s dramas in the waiting room.
Gradually we become involved as the audience. The playwright realises he needs actors after all to help him explore the themes of Hamlet with us. He is interested in what Hamlet thought he knew and what he was blind to. His is not so sure that Hamlet’s method of revenge was up to much.
This is a piece of theatre with a serious message but done with such a light touch it will make you chuckle. Do take the opportunity to go the The North Wall for this one performance on Thursday evening. It is great to have the opportunity to take part in a piece of theatre which is at the cutting edge of modern playwriting. Soleimanpour is a writer experimenting with writing himself out, with ridding the theatre of actors and actors, getting the audience closer to the theatrical experience. He is a writer challenging the censorship he experiences in his native Iran, using all means at his disposal to get his voice heard, even through a recording from the past.