Theatre review: Blank

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Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, the shadowy controller whose hand guides this distinctive and playfully-experimental piece, might be unaware that the greatest obstacle to its success is a residual memory of British game shows of the 1980s.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Summerhall (Venue 26)

Every person in the room is going in blind, with a rotating lone guest performer reading the piece, script in hand and seeing that script for the first time. The house lights stay up, and the host proceeds with the audience as their cast, asking them to volunteer their own suggestions for gaps in the script. They say things like “the weather is (blank)” and await a response; it means that for many, an image of Les Dawson’s Blankety Blank isn’t far away.

One audience member is invited onstage, and those watching are invited to create a fictional story for that person by filling in more blanks before the person fills in the blanks of their own life. For the particular performance under review, the audience quite probably lucked out with Thom Tuck of the Penny Dreadfuls – a performer with a quick wit and a feel for gravitas when required – as host, and sharp audience participants. For large sections of the show it resembled a fun and exploratory parlour game with some consideration of the nature of art and communication as a byproduct, although a lasting, poignant note was achieved at the finale.

Until 28 August. Today 6:30pm.

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