Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

IT is a rare oc­cur­rence for a jour­nal­ist to con­duct an in­ter­view know­ing more about the im­pend­ing the­atre sea­son than the per­former, but that was the sce­nario when speak­ing to ac­tor Sam Lon­g­ley.

Lon­g­ley is set to star in Perth The­atre Com­pany’s open­ing night per­for­mance of White Rab­bit, Red Rab­bit, where the ac­tor is handed the script only as they go on stage.

“Part of my con­tract is that I’m not al­lowed to even Google it,” he said.

“All they’ve told me is that I don’t get the script un­til just be­fore I go on stage and I don’t even know what ‘just be­fore’ means.

“It might be five seconds be­fore, five min­utes be­fore, 15 min­utes be­fore. Per­son­ally I think I’d rather it was five seconds be­fore be­cause if they gave me any more time than that, there would be too many op­tions run­ning through my head.”

The sea­son at Stu­dio Un­der­ground guar­an­tees a dif­fer­ent ex­peri- ence ev­ery night, with a new per­former on stage for each show. Also in the line-up are Mon­ica Main, Ali­cia Osyka, Ali­son Van Reeken, Sean Walsh and Mark Storen.

The story be­hind the work is re­mark­able, with 29-year-old Ira­nian play­wright Nas­sim Soleiman­pour having his pass­port con­fis­cated for re­fus­ing to do na­tional ser­vice.

White Rab­bit, Red Rab­bit is a way for his play to travel the world since he is un­able to.

Known for his supreme im­pro­vi­sa­tion skills with The Big HOOHAA, Lon­g­ley said his ini­tial re­ac­tion to the con­cept was ex­cite­ment that soon turned to a “freak­out” when he re­alised what he had signed up to.

“I am used to do­ing im­pro­vi­sa­tion with no script or work­ing with a script with a month’s re­hearsal,” he said.

“But I’ve never seen a hy­brid be­fore. I won’t have the free­dom like I have in im­pro­vi­sa­tion to go nuts. I have to re­spect the script.”

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

Fun­ny­man Sam Lon­g­ley reads a non-ex­is­tent script for his up­com­ing per­for­mance in WhiteRab­bit,RedRab­bit.

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