FRINGE TWENTY17: Blank @ Studio Underground

By Freya Parr

The concept is pure genius. Nassim Soleimanpour’s BLANK features different performers each night, none of whom have ever seen the script before. The role of the play is completely altered, taking the form of a story machine. The stories shared are from the playwright and a randomly selected audience member, and then curated by the audience as a whole, as we are asked to fill in the “blanks”.

The production invites us to reflect on our own stories, encouraging us all to see our life narratives as just as special as those we are used to seeing on stage. The status of our identities is heightened, and we left the space feeling empowered. It was fascinating to learn more about a single audience member, and although she may not have seen her life story as particularly special initially, by the end of the piece we realised how valuable and unusual it can be to view someone’s life story in these singular words and phrases. The narrative we created alongside the individual audience member was strung up on a washing line, and we then had a visualisation of what we had curated together.

By reversing our usual theatre experience, BLANK succeeded in doing what so many plays fail to do; create a uniquely personal reflection through theatre. It is a piece of performance I could go and see again and again, and never fail to be impressed by. The story will never be told the same way twice, and this is what is truly exciting about theatre. A real Fringe must-see.

Blank is appearing at the Fringe until 28th January.

Tickets can be bought from the Blue Room.