Blind Hamlet (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Blind Hamlet

A thought-provoking Edinburgh Fringe show from White Rabbit, Red Rabbit writer Nassim Soleimanpour

Nassim Soleimanpour – writer of the worldwide hit White Rabbit, Red Rabbit – is losing his sight. His visits to the optometrist are becoming more frequent and Soleimanpour, present only through voice recordings, laments having never read Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Apart from the dutiful figure of the stage manager and the Dictaphone containing Soleimanpour’s recordings, Ramin Gray's direction revels in sparsity and pointedly invites the audience to take part in the shifting, flexing and porous quality of the piece. The spectre of Hamlet haunts the effectively realised accounts of Soleimanpour’s tormented vision, with the words on the page becoming blurred to the point of ghostliness. It makes Shakespeare’s line ‘Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight’ an apt description.

Blind Hamlet is precise and engaging. Surprisingly for a piece that's so heavily reliant on recordings, each show is different, changing every time through the audience’s involvement. The understated script, together with the experience we've just shared with our fellow audience members, is a heady mixture.

Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 12, 18), 2.50pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14). 

Blind Hamlet

  • 4 stars

Actors Touring Company Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour confronts the slow loss of his sight and the fact that he’s never read Hamlet. But with tragedy looming, he chooses instead to play with the truth and fiction, chance and fate. A surprise-laden meditation on what it means to act and interact in a shrinking world…