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The Arabian Nights

September 4, 2012

Event: ‘The Arabian Nights’ by I Theatre
Venue: The Singapore Airlines Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts

Run: 1-18 September 2012
Written & Directed by: Brian Seward

Music by: Bang Wenfu
Cast: Julie Wee, Edward Choy, Daphne Ong, Faizal Abdullah, Hang Qian Chou, Dwayne Lau, Candice de Rozario

It is always nice to revisit stories that conjure up a sense of magic and adventure, and take us away from the daily hustle and bustle of life. And I Theatre’s (re-)staging of Arabian Nights does that by telling the classic tales from 1001 nights. I had wondered how the cast would be combining the storytelling with the role-playing of the many stories to be told, and I would say the transitions between the storytelling and the stories were done rather smoothly, allowing the audience to easily follow the many tales, but yet still kept in the context of King Shahriyar and Queen Shahrazad’s own unfolding story.

Using an animated cast and simple props and puppets, the audience were brought through (if I counted correctly) 8 selected stories – The Fisherman and the Jinni, The Merchant of Sendeh, The Tale of the Hunchback, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Voyages of Sinbad, The Three Princes, Tale of the Mouse and the Mongoose and Aladdin. The script was easily understandable and with the lively acting, the cast engaged the audience, especially the kids, who were constantly tickled by the stories and characters. The cast did well as they easily switched between the characters, and in between, performed as musicians and puppeteers as well.

And Eucien’s sets were once again beautiful in its design and functionality. Colourful, it had its Arabian style with the risen King’s loft and hidden passage and cave under it, that doubled as hills and paths as well, even not forgetting the details of lining the floor with a pseudo-carpet pattern.

I believe the beauty of this production was the way the stories were told, bringing out the essence and moral of each story with good old-fashioned storytelling that is simple to understand for all ages.

The Arabian Nights runs till 18 September, with tickets at $32 and $28 (weekday matinee). Grab your tickets to this family-friendly production from now.

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