I had a vague idea of how this play was going to go having growing up watching Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales on VHS repetitively and having a picture book of Ali Baba & The Fourty Thieves. After giving my childhood books to my niece, I looked through the book once again and realised it may have been more violent for my younger self.
This production is loosely based on the One Thousand and One Nights – a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales originating from ancient Arabic, Jewish, Greek, Indian, Persian and Turkish cultures. They done an amazing job in displaying the multicultural nuances in each tale even throwing in hints Japanese and Chinese nuances.
The synopsis provided by the company:
A young servant girl, Dunzayad is to marry the powerful king Shahryar. But this isn’t her husband-to-be’s first wedding – every single night he marries a new girl, and every single morning he has her killed.
As she steps up to take her marriage vows, her sister Sharazad can’t stand aside and watch; defiantly facing danger, she bravely sacrifices herself in place of her sibling…
Imagine Hunger Games but Katnis Everdeen is equipped with imagination and capitivating storytelling instead of a bow and arrow. It is seems like a pretty farfetched comparision but I couldn’t help whisper “I volunteer as tribute!” to my companion.
The talents of the actors on stage where on full display seamlessly transitioning from acting, singing, dancing and puppeteering in a matter of seconds.
I thoroughly enjoyed it despite still having stubborn symptoms of freshers’ flu, it didn’t stop me from laughing out loud and looking like a mess at the front row. Though it is recommended for viewers above the age of 8, there were a couple of ‘adult jokes‘ sprinkled in that I did not fail to giggle at.
Hoxton Hall’s intimacy did not fail to transport you to a lavish palace in the Middle East and wrap you up in the handful of tales for an enjoyable night.
Hoxton Hall’s Arabian Nights ran from 12th September – 13th October.
Until Next Time,
I should have been in an 9AM lecture at the time of writing this…
Photos: Ali Wright