I Theatre's Arabian Nights is running from September 1 to 18 2012 at LaSalle College of the Arts’s Singapore Airlines Theatre. This version of the Arabian Nights, which is geared for both children and adults, is written and directed by the company’s artistic director, Brian Seward, and taken from The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights - Volumes 1,2 and 3 by Malcolm C. Lyons with Ursula Lyon (Penguin, 2008).
Arabian Nights is about King Shahriyar (Edward Choy) who is cheated on by his wife and decides to marry, bed, and kill a new wife each night. Next on his victim list is Princess Shahabad (Julie Wee). However the Princess uses her ability to spin interesting stories, halting them just before bedtime, thereby sparking the King’s interest and keeping her alive another day. The next day, the Princess continues the story and starts yet another story that she terminates mid-way, once again giving her a reprise from execution because the King wants to hear the ending of the story the next day. In this way, the Princess tells a thousand and one tales that end with the King understanding how wrong he was to kill, and he falls in love with the Princess instead.
I Theatre’s Arabian Nights showcases some stories from the collection of Asian and Arabic tales called One Thousand and One Nights, notably including "Aladdin‘s Wonderful Lamp," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," "The Hunchback’s Tale," "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad," and "The Mouse and the Weasel".
These familiar stories are sometimes intertwined, with all the cast playing both characters from the stories as well as their main characters set within the primary story of Princess Shahrazad and King Shahriyar. Brian Seward makes very good use of each actor’s multi-level skill (eg. Candice de Rozario plays the drums and puppeteers the Djinn, as well as portraying Dalilah), thereby giving each actor a chance to play a variety of roles.