Wednesday, December 23, 2009

RSC - Arabian Nights

The Royal Shakespeare Company of Stratford-upon-Avon is performing their version of the Nights this winter until Jan 30. As I noted in an earlier post Ayesha Dharker plays the lead role, you may recall the English actress from films like The Terrorist, Star Wars Episode II, The Mistress of Spices and the made for TV 2000 version of the Nights.

Their interactive website has some cool features and graphics:

Here is their trailer:

And a mini-review from:

"Arabian Nights
Courtyard theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until 30 Jan

Dominic Cooke's urgent production (a revisiting of his 1998 show at the Young Vic) is an act of faith. This is low-tech, purist theatre. Its only special effect is its acting. It relies on hand and eye, voice and movement – and draws from a supply of stories to last a thousand nights. Black-eyed Shahrazad (Ayesha Dharker) holds the centre beautifully to save her life and reform her murderous husband (Silas Carson). Georgia McGuinness's set is a simple, pale disc, with a sheet of burnished steel at the back of the stage. There is one wonderful puppet – a gold pilgrim (in the story of Es-Sindibad) traversing a human landscape and many DIY disguises (men turn into black stones with the help of bin-liners). It will please anyone in retreat from Christmas bling or in search of homespun virtuosity. But the RSC are billing this as an "enchanting family show" and although it has its share of enchantments, Arabian Nights is cruel too: in one scene, a dismembered corpse is hurled about (a little girl in the front of the stalls was taken out in terrified tears). My sons (a safe 13 and 10) loved every minute of it – although the youngest, watching the butchery, uneasily inquired: "Is it real?" KK"

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