The rabbit

YouTube star Munah Bagharib will perform monodrama White Rabbit Red Rabbit in English.
YouTube star Munah Bagharib will perform monodrama White Rabbit Red Rabbit in English. PHOTO: PINK ELEPHANT LABS

Featured in: White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour and Cornering A Hare by Paige Phillips and Evan Dawson

What to expect: Far from being fluffy cute furballs, the rabbits in these shows are elevated to a symbol, taking on a darker meaning beyond their seemingly innocent form.

In the monodrama White Rabbit Red Rabbit, the actor and audience are made to feel like rabbits in a laboratory.

In this piece of experimental theatre by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, the performer and the audience are kept in the dark about the playwright's grand plan, as the actor sees the script for the first time only at the beginning of the show. There is no director and no set.

  • BOOK IT / WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT

  • WHERE: Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road


    WHEN: Jan 13, 8pm, Munah Bagharib (in English); Jan 14, 8pm, Neo Swee Lin (in English); Jan 15, 8pm, Udaya Soundari (in Tamil); Jan 16, 3pm, Sani Hussin (in Malay); Jan 16, 8pm, Dennis Chew (in Mandarin)


    ADMISSION: $22


    INFO: The performance has an Advisory 16 rating.

  • CORNERING A HARE

  • WHEN: Jan 14 and 15, 6.30 to 8pm


    WHERE: Jan 14, Theatre Foyer, National Museum of Singapore; Jan 15, Esplanade Theatre Studio entrance, 1 Esplanade Drive


    ADMISSION: Free

The one-hour play is made up of instructions from the absent playwright to the performer, raising issues of freedom and conformity.

In real life, Soleimanpour is like a trapped rabbit, having been denied a passport due to his refusal to fulfil military service in Iran.

Singapore actress Udaya Soundari will perform this play in Tamil, a first for the production which has toured the world and was staged here with a different cast at this year's M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

This time, it will also be staged here in English, Malay and Mandarin, without surtitles.

There will be two English shows, performed by YouTube star Munah Bagharib and theatre veteran Neo Swee Lin. Radio DJ Dennis Chew will take on the Mandarin production and TV and theatre actor Sani Hussin will perform the show in Malay.

Soundari, 27, says that as advised by the Fringe team, she will resist the urge to search the play on the Internet.

"I'm thinking it's something to do with rabbits, but then again maybe not. I don't have any idea of what will happen, so I'll just go with the flow."

With Cornering A Hare, American artist Paige Phillips explored the different depictions of the hare in popular culture and art history.

The durational performance will see performer Evan Dawson, dressed like a bunny to interact with the audience.

The hare was a symbol of Christ during the Renaissance, yet it is also associated with the idea of sexual virility and trickery.

"I found the tension between those ideas to be extremely interesting," says Phillips, 31 .

"He is both a prince and a fool, someone who is being punished or attacked by being made to sit in the corner, but who also has the power to forgive by engaging in sincere acts with the audience."


Nabilah Said

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'The rabbit'. Print Edition | Subscribe