Iris Theatre has made its first family show foray outside Covent Garden in years and, judging by initial critical reactions to its adaptation of Arabian Nights and transformation of historic Hoxton Hall, the risk has paid off. We’ve collected some of our favourite highlights from the reviews to date below – in short, people are going potty for the puppets! Time get booking!
London’s Grade II-listed Hoxton Hall is transformed to the world of the ancient Middle East in Iris Theatre’s Arabian Nights, in an enchanting new version written by Nessah Muthy, which has a strictly limited season from 12 September to 13 October 2018, with a press night on 19 September. Iris Theatre artistic director Daniel Winder directs.
Filled to the brim with music, puppetry and dance, the captivating stories of Sinbad the Sailor and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves come to life against a stunning set utilising the aesthetic of souks from the time. The evening of storytelling blends together tales from ancient Arabic, Jewish, Greek, Indian, Persian and Turkish cultures in a celebration of the artistic and cultural history of the ancient Middle Eastern world.
At the grandest wedding of the year, amongst the music, magic and dance, King Shahryar’s tyranny looms. Every single night, he marries a new girl and every single morning he has her killed. This cycle of violence has continued for years, but with the executioner’s sword hanging over her neck, Sharazad starts to tell King Shahryar stories. With every beautiful tale she tells, she stretches out the thread of her life a little further.
The Arabian Nights cast are: Izzy Jones as Dunzayad; Maya Britto as Wife/musician; Ikky Elyas as A Kalander/Executioner; Sharon Singh as Sharazad; Hemi Yeroham as Vizier Khalid; and Pravesh Rana as King Shahryar.
Arabian Nights has set design by Amber Scarlett, puppet design by Jonny Dixon, lighting design by Ben Polya, costume design by Maddy Ross-Masson and sound design by Filip Gomes. It’s produced by Ellie Claughton for Iris Theatre, with Malakai Sargeant as engagement producer. ‘Encountering 1001 Nights’ will run alongside the production at Hoxton Hall, focussing on engaging with the local communities in Hoxton.
Arabian Nights runs from 12 September to 13 October 2018 at Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton St, London N1 6SH. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £13-£30. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!