Ashleigh Weir (left) and Jessica Murdoch are among the performers taking to the stage for this enigmatic showWhite Rabbit Red Rabbit Company

When actress Ashleigh Weir took the stage in White Rabbit Red Rabbit on opening night, she knew as much as the audience did about the play she was about to perform — absolutely nothing. She’d never rehearsed, never learned her lines, and never even read the script.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit forbids it. Just as it forbids me from telling you anything else about the production. I can say that Weir handled the task masterfully, but unfortunately, you’ll never see her perform it again. A new actor — one equally unaware of all that has transpired — will take to the stage each night.

Written in 2010 by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, White Rabbit Red Rabbit is the Fight Club of theatre: the first rule of White Rabbit Red Rabbit is that you don’t talk about White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Despite more than 1000 performances in 25 languages it still inspires actors and audiences alike to keep the secret going. Actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, and Alan Cumming have played the role, and another production in Cambridge will take place at Hughes Hall on 3 March.

While the idea in itself may seem a little gimmicky, White Rabbit Red Rabbit gives a new meaning to the words live theatre. I’ve never seen an audience more attentive or an actor more instinctive. In a time when reality TV isn’t even real, it’s surprisingly refreshing to be part of something so un-ironically authentic. All pretense is gone, giving way to the perfect balance of play and sincerity that makes theatre an art form unparalleled to anything our smartphones can provide.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit uproots all those involved forcing them on a journey that both echoes the theatrical traditions of ancient Greece and Shakespeare, while pushing the art form into a new dimension that falls somewhere between performance art, psychological experiment, and immersive entertainment. It’s wild and ridiculous and anything but perfect.

Perhaps what grounds the piece in reality is that Soleimanpour didn’t simply create White Rabbit Red Rabbit as a game for audience and actor to engage in on a Friday night. Barred from getting a passport in Iran, Soleimanpour uses the piece to travel the world he cannot. Communicating through the actor, he discusses morality and complicity without ever mentioning politics. Though as an audience member in England it’s impossible to forget his words are coming to us from a much stricter place.

Due to the intimacy of the work, Pembroke New Cellars is a perfect location for such a play; the closer the actor is to the audience, the better. I can better imagine it taking place in a living room than in a traditional proscenium theatre. However, it does not mean that non-actors should be tempted in putting on their own version. Though no rehearsal or director is required, White Rabbit Red Rabbit could easily deteriorate in less skilled hands. Even with such an absurd premise, a person cold reading from a script is not inherently engaging for more than a few minutes if they don’t have the expertise to do it. Only those fully comfortable with the stage should attempt such a piece. Luckily for me, Weir is one of those performers. She confidently took on whatever the script threw her way while subtly commenting on how she felt about each direction with a raise of an eyebrow or purse of the lip.

The rest of the run will feature Joe Pieri, Jess Murdoch, Matilda Wickham, and Tom Taplin closing the show on February 10. I wish them luck on their adventure and hope they embrace all that the script throws their way.

As for the audience, I urge you to be a part of it. Clocking in at under an hour, you have no excuse to miss it. White Rabbit Red Rabbit is the perfect study break and it’ll put everything into perspective. Go see it, I dare you.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is on in Pembroke New Cellars until February 10