Thursday, January 20, 2011

"This is not your Disney's Aladdin."

Thanks to Paul for passing along this article on the upcoming stage production of the Nights at the Toronto arts festival "Luminato" this summer.

The article outlines the project, spearheaded by UK based director Tim Supple, which presents a cast of 25 culled from Supple's travels throughout the Middle East.  The play promises "adult" versions of the Nights.

Here's the link to the article in its entirety, a clip has been pasted below:

Here's the Luminato website:

"We're talking about a work that has been multiply abused and misunderstood, adapted and changed to become the thing that we think of as The Arabian Nights," said Tim Supple, the British director who has been commissioned to bring the story to the stage. He joined Price on Monday to unveil Luminato's 2011 theatre and dance program.

"The true thing is something completely different. ... [The stories] are far more brutal, erotic, frank and adult. Somehow in their history they became flipped into versions that were child-friendly."

Supple, the artistic director of the London-based company Dash Arts, is working with Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh to adapt the text. The main story begins with King Shahryar. Burned by an unfaithful wife, he marries a virgin every night and kills her in the morning. His newest queen, Shahrazad, delays her execution by telling the king incredible tales that never end.

Since the spring of 2009, Supple has travelled to Arabicspeaking countries including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen to work with performers.

"We'd work for four, five, six hours at a time with groups of performers, actors, dancers and musicians to deeply understand who they are as artists and so they could understand who I am and trust me," he said.

Supple met hundreds of artists but chose a cast of 25. The production will be performed in two parts in English, Arabic and French with subtitles."

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