Royal Court Theatre and LIFT announce initial casting for ECHO by Nassim Soleimanpour

Published on Thu 30 May 2024

The Royal Court Theatre and LIFT (London’s International Festival of Theatre) have today announced five of the fifteen artists who will perform in the world premiere of ECHO (Every Cold-Hearted Oxygen) which will run at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Saturday 13 – Saturday 27 July 2024 with opening night on Wednesday 17 July.

Kathryn Hunter (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead), Toby Jones (Mr Bates vs. The Post Office), Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Meera Syal (Roar) and Rebecca Lucy Taylor aka Self Esteem (Cabaret) will each perform this new work from critically acclaimed Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, NASSIM) and director Omar Elerian’s (NASSIM, Misty, two Palestinians go dogging). ECHO pushes the boundaries of Soleimanpour’s signature unrehearsed cold reads. An additional ten artists and dates for each performer will be announced in the coming weeks.

Across the three week run, a different performer will take to the stage at each show without having a clue of what is going to be asked of them. Unrehearsed and unprepared, the script becomes their guide as they journey through the story of the playwright, connected live from his flat in Berlin. Or is he? Can we really know where or when we are?

ECHO asks us to confront what it feels like to be an immigrant in time. Fusing technology with the oldest tricks in the book, ECHO is an experiment in concept touring for the age of climate crisis: an ambitious, magical and uncompromising production where no one travels yet everybody can be present.

Kathryn Hunter said: “I am excited to be a part of project ECHO for LIFT at the Royal Court.  Working with Omar Elerian on Ionesco’s The Chairs was both hugely inspiring and challenging; a leap into the unknown; this project promises to be no less, for performers and audience alike.

Rebecca Lucy Taylor said: “Alarmingly my gut is telling me to choose interesting and challenging projects when it comes to my acting career.  I am honoured and terrified to be asked to be a part of this insanely special event. The fear is so loud that I know it’s the right thing to do!”

Meera Syal said: “I had the pleasure of working with Nassim Soleimanpour on Red Rabbit White Rabbit and it is simply a unique theatrical adventure for both actor and audience. Delighted to be included in the next journey at the Royal Court with the extraordinary talents of Nassim and Omar Elerian.

Have no idea what is going to happen – but that’s the magical buzz of this experience. Can’t wait.


See here for the full press release