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Arabian Nights at the Blue Elephant Theatre

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 29th Nov 2013 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin
Kate Millest as a bottled up genie

Prepare yourself to be bombarded with imagination!

Hammer & Tongs Theatre present their spoof on the Arabian Nights, a collection of over 1,000 tales based on stories from the Middle East, India, and North Africa, at the Blue Elephant Theatre. This show already had a successful run at the Camden Fringe and includes five exciting adventure stories featuring kings, princesses, talking animals, genies, a flying horse made of ebony as well as some new characters: a philosophising crab with a French accent and a baby giant bird.

Kate Millest, George Clarke, and Helen Forster as another genie.

As the show begins, we witness how a king discovers his wife cheating on him with a sorcerer - consequently he has her executed. In his bitterness and grief the king decides that all women are treacherous. He begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Eventually the vizier cannot
 find any more virgins in the realm. Schererazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride to end the killing once and for all - her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not finish it. The king, curious about how the story will end, is forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, she finishes the tale and the king calls for the executioner but Scheherazade immediately begins a new story, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. And so it goes on for 1,001 nights.

Suzie Grimsdick

The actors change into a myriad of colourful characters as Scheherazade keeps telling the King stories to stay alive - a three-headed genie, a monkey prince who ends up as part of a ship's crew, a gigantic bird, a swarm of bees... Jennifer Rose Lee's production is very physical and fast-paced, surprising us with new twists and turns every minute on Bethany Heaton's imaginative set - drapes lined with stars and a truly magical carpet present the playground for this highly theatrical production. The ensemble is excellent: George Clarke, Helen Foster, Suzie Grimsdick, Kate Millest, and James Weal.

Don't miss out on this fun production!

By Carolin Kopplin

Until 14 December 2013

Blue Elephant Theatre
59a Bethwin Road (entrance on Thompson's Ave)
Camberwell, London, SE5 0XT
Box Office: 020 7701 0100



  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks sounds amazing, Carolin! Is this a family friendly show, would you say? The presentation style screams "family fun", but some of the content you describe suggests this might be one for the grown up kids among us!?
  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 4 years ago
    This show is for everybody. I don't think there is any content that is unsuitable for children.
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