Review: NASSIM (part of Luminato)

by Lynn on June 12, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Berkeley Street Theatre, Downstairs, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Nassim Soleimanpour

Directed by Omar Elerian

Designed by Rhys Jarman

Sound by Rajiv Pattani

Read by Steffi DiDomenicantonio

With the participation of Nassim Soleimanpour

This is difficult to review because every comment could require a spoiler alert. As with his previous play, White Rabbit Red Rabbit,  the script of Nassim is given in an envelope  to an actor/actress at the time of the show who has not seen the script before, nor had any rehearsal of it.

For my performance, Steffi DiDomenicantonio is the reader. There is a new actor every night. To keep it vague, this is a play about language, home, belonging and seeming a stranger in one’s own country.

Nassim Soleimanpour is an Iranian playwright who cannot have his plays performed in his home town in Iran. So he decided to send it out to the world in many envelopes in the hopes that actors and actresses would read it at performances just like this one.

It is playful, witty, irreverent and very moving. Nassim Soleimanpour is an actual participant in the evening. He does not say a word but he conveys his message clearly and with great heart.

Steffi DiDomenicantonio is lively, sweet, funny and perhaps at times does not see that moments are moving for Nassim.

It is a play of building bridges and transcending language to find a common way of communicating.

The thing that is resounding no matter where this play has been done—starting with the Bush in London, Eng.—is the trusting willingness of audiences to engage with the challenge, be willing, trusting participants and to build a bridge to embrace this playwright who at times thought he was a stranger in his own country. Very moving.

Nassim plays until June 16 with a new reader every night.

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