Jodie Whittaker and Benedict Wong will star in the Royal Court’s new play ‘ECHO’ later this month

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour made his name with ‘White Rabbit, Red Rabbit’, an experimental drama that played on the fact he was then unable to leave his home country, and thus a different performer was required to read the script every night, having never seen it before.

The show started small but soon became something of a celebrity cause, with the likes of Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Dominic West and many more all taking part. It’s the perfect play for a busy star, as it explicitly requires that they don’t prepare, and they only ever do it once.

Originally performed in 2010, it set the template for Soleimanpour’s future works, which brings us to his new one ‘ECHO’. Somewhat enigmatically standing for ‘Every Cold-Hearted Oxygen’, the whole point of his plays is that nobody knows what’s going to happen in advance and thus information scant, but apparently it’s going to be about ‘what it means to be a refugee in time’.

What we do know is who is going to perform in the play, which will run at the Royal Court as the centrepiece of this year’s London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT). The actors tackling it will be Sheila Atim, Monica Dolan, Jessica Gunning, Jeremy O Harris, Adrian Lester, Nick Mohammed, Mawaan Rizwan, Jodie Whittaker, Benedict Wong, Kathryn Hunter, Toby Jones, Fiona Shaw, Meera Syal and Rebecca Lucy Taylor.

No information will be released in advance so you’ll just have to take a chance on which star you get, though if you pay close attention you’ll be able to see who has done it already as the run wears on and whittle it down from there. Expect a random star, possibly your fave; but expect a funny, thoughtful experimental show from a master of his craft.

‘ECHO’ is at the Royal Court Theatre, Jul 13-27. Buy tickets here.

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