Metta Theatre supported by English Touring Theatre present

Arab Nights

  • Wed 21 Nov - Sat Dec 1st, 7.45pm. Thu & Sat matinees 3.30pm
  • Wed 21 £10, Thu 22 onwards £12.50 (£10 concessions)
Six tales of revolution

by Hassan Abdulrazzak, anonymous, Chirine El Ansary, Ghalia Kabbani, Tania El Khoury & Raja Shehadeh

Arab Nights

Shahrazad needs to survive for just one more night. Can her stories save her?

Meet diabolical djinnis, a latter-day Sinbad and a shoe-obsessed dictator’s wife in this collection of six new plays inspired by recent events in the Middle East and North Africa.

From the stirring to the satirical, Metta Theatre brings these stories to life with their signature mix of performance, puppetry and original music, creating an Arabian Nights for a modern age.

Writers include: Baghdad Wedding playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak (Iraq); an anonymous writer (Iran); storyteller Chirine El Ansary (Egypt); journalist Ghalia Kabbani (Syria); live artist Tania El Khoury (Lebanon); and Orwell Prize-winning novelist Raja Shehadeh (Palestine).

Contains strong language and adult themes – not suitable for under 13s

Supported by Arts Council England and the PRS for Music Foundation

Access Performance
The Sat 1st Dec, 3.30pm show will be audio described and with a BSL interpretation.

Post-show events

Free post-show discussions following the 7.45pm performance:

Fri 23 Nov
Palestine and the Arab Spring – with Raja Shehadeh, Orwell Prize winning Palestinian Novelist.

Tues 27 Nov
Storytelling and Theatre – with Stephe Harrop, professional storyteller.

Weds 28 Nov
The Situation in Syria – with Ghalia Kabbani, Syrian novelist & journalist and Henry Hogger, former ambassador to Syria.

Thurs 29 Nov
1001 Nights today – with Tim Supple, theatre director.

Fri 30 Nov
The Situation in Egypt – with storyteller and Arab Nights co-author Chirine El Ansary.

‘As more traditional Arabian Nights Christmas shows approach, Metta Theatre turns them into a parable of Middle East revolution…Greater than its parts, it expresses not only the danger of the Arab Spring but its wit… the physical wit and economical elegance carry you on into empathy, beyond the daily horror of the headlines.’ ★★★★ Times

‘Visually inventive… William Reynolds’s setting is immensely striking: a wall of white shoeboxes, the contents of which are used to symbolise guns, hooves and looms… Poppy Burton-Morgan’s production skilfully uses everything from puppetry to hi tech.’ Guardian

‘An exceptional melding of myth and modern protest…Arab Nights is an unequivocal achievement. With its exciting treatment of current events, its ingenious use of The Arabian Nights’ original qualities and its beautiful acting, it offers an experience at once magical and profound.’ Spoonfed