Continuing the formal experiment that marked White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Nassim Soleimanpour’s BLANK will feature performers who see the script for the first time as they walk on stage. Soleimanpour, an acclaimed Iranian playwright, now takes it to new extremes by riddling the script with blanks.
Each night a new performer collaborates with the audience to create an original story that is theirs alone. The play becomes a story machine, sharing the life of the playwright, the performer and a randomly selected audience member.
The personalities who will perform BLANK represent an inclusive Western Australia, just as the show celebrates the communal and elusive nature of theatre.
Friday 20 January: Dr Anne Aly MP
Dr Anne Aly is the Federal Member for Cowan and an internationally renowned expert in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation.
Saturday 21 January: Ofa Fotu
Better known to most as Odette Mercy, frontwoman of Perth’s freshest soul/funk act Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics, Ofa is a unique artist who regularly brings the house down with her funky soul sounds.
Tuesday 24 January: Ron Bradfield
Ron Bradfield Jnr is a Bardi man who grew up on Yamatji lands in and around Geraldton. After many years in a military uniform, he now calls Whadjuk Boodja (country) his home. Ron is the General Manager of Urban Indigenous where he and many other Aboriginal people share their collection of stories, learnings and knowledge. Ron has worked extensively with visual artists across Australia; has shared yarns with Barefaced Stories, and has also been a ‘living book’ at various Perth events.
Wednesday 25 January: Mallika Macleod
Mallika Macleod is an Arts Manager at DADAA, the national Chair of Arts Access Australia, and an inter-country adoptee. Having acquired a disability in childhood, Mallika’s lived experience of disability has opened doors and provided opportunities she otherwise would not have had, and is something that guides her advocacy roles and informs her creative side.
Friday 27 January: Mystery comedian
All will be revealed on the night. Audiences can expect a comedian who has roots in Perth but has achieved national success and is often seen on television screens across the country.
Saturday 28 January: Sami Shah
Comedian Sami Shah migrated to Western Australia from Pakistan and is now based in Melbourne. A frequent contributor to Radio National and ABC Melbourne, his autobiography I, Migrant has been nominated for numerous awards including the WA Premier’s Literary Award and he has been profiled in The New York Times, on ABC’s Australian Story, BBC Radio 4, NPR, TEDx and QI.
Much like the lauded White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Soleimanpour’s newest piece invites reflection on how our human identity is constructed around the stories we tell. Inventive and empowering, BLANK will reverse the typical theatre experience and tell a story that will never again be told in the same way.
“Incredibly uplifting and life-affirming, with a feeling of togetherness that “passive” theatre lacks.” A Younger Theatre
“BLANK aims like a sniper, not only at your mind but also at your heart.” Three Weeks
20 – 28 January
Studio Underground, STCWA
Auslan Performance: 24 January
Relaxed Performance: 25 January
Origin: Western Australia/Iran
Company: The Blue Room Theatre in association with Aurora Nova
For Audiences 15+
Performers will be announced by early January.
Image: Nassim Soleimanpour