White Rabbit Red Rabbit

By Nassim Soleimanpour

Mar 13, 2024

Content Tabs


No rehearsals. No director. No set.

An actor reads the script from cold for the first time at the performance.

Join us for one night only to see one of the most infamous and exciting plays in the history of contemporary theatre.

Nassim Soliemanpour’s wildly original play is performed by a different actor every night as they open the script for the first time live on stage.

Performed in 30 languages over 3000 times by actors including Whoopi Goldberg, Dominic West and John Hurt, WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT is a work about contemporary Iran and of Nassim’s generation. Taking to the stage, and seeing the script for the first time in Sydney, will be actor Shayan Askari.

“Playful, enigmatic and haunting”
– New York Times

Presented as part of Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta True West program.
By Nassim Soleimanpour
Produced by James Hartley
Performed by Shayan Askari


CONTENT WARNING Recommended for ages 15+. Contains course language and references to suicide.

‘I’ve known about White Rabbit Red Rabbit for several years now and I’ve done my best to avoid learning anything about.”

My first, and the most important, responsibility I had was casting. I needed someone who was a skilled actor but also a genuinely open human being who could maintain their vulnerability in front of a large group of people. Past productions of White Rabbit also seemed to benefit from a performer who had experience doing comedy. I’ve known Shayan for several years now and have directed him before so I knew his ability and personality but since the Masa Amini protests he has been able to use his abilities to help his community by leading rallies and speaking to passionate crowds while still remaining authentic and genuine. Shayan is not just a brilliant performer but also a generous person and with a scenario like White Rabbit where he cannot prepare himself at all as an actor, his true humanity and person will shine through.

For me, what Nassim has created is so special and unique but not just for its own sake. Rather, it pulls apart the nature of performance and our own agency as spectator-actors, and in so doing allows us to explore what theatre does best: affirm the vulnerability that lies in all of us at the heart of the human experience. I can’t wait to see the play in action and see how people respond.’ – James Hartley

SHAYAN ASKARI – performer 

Shayan is an Iranian-Australian actor in theatre and film. He has been acting for over a decade in both Farsi and English within the industry and the Iranian community. Since the Woman Life Freedom revolution, Shayan has actively voiced the Iranian people’s concerns by hosting vigils, creating content for marches, and doing interviews on TV and radio channels. As a producer, Shayan is well-connected in his community, bringing authenticity and truth to productions related to Iran. He has produced multiple theatre productions and is currently focusing on producing and acting for film. In 2022 Shayan was cast in Shayda which won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award (Sundance Film Festival), Best Casting (AACTA Awards), and is Australia’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards.