Nassim, also begins with a similar enigmatic premise: Each night an actor walks onto the stage, presented only with a red “X” on the floor, a microphone stand, and a box on a small table. In the box are instructions that allow the show to begin.
Alison Bell was the subject on the night I attended and from the moment she opened the box, made an immediate communion with the audience. Indeed, one of the lovely things about Nassim is how the audience are brought along, moving from spectators to participants.
The show becomes theatrical archaeology. Soleimanpour deconstructing theatrical conventions, digging down past questions of truth-versus-artifice to more proto-elements – specifically the power of language and how language is used to connect with people.
For all its philosophical exploration, the beautiful thing about Nassim is the bond it creates between playwright, actor, audience, and back again. I can’t recall as beautiful an ending to a work of theatre as the one witnessed when all the previous hour’s machinations fell away leaving only the simple fact that for many of us the definition of home is family and our mother’s voice.
Fascinating, funny, and incredibly moving, Nassim is beautiful work of art that was a privilege to experience.
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Tuesday 23 January 2018 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 28 January 2018
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Alison Bell stars in Nassim – photo by Mark Gambino
Review: David Collins