Adapted by Dominic Cooke
Directed by Polly Beauwin
Thursday 23rd November to Saturday 25th November 2017
Read-through: Wednesday 6th September 2017
Audition: Wednesday 13th September 2017
As the nights grow longer, it is time for a feast of storytelling.
Join us, as Shahrazad tells the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the Little Beggar, Sindbad the Sailor, the Envious Sisters, in order to save her life.
The enchantment begins as Shahrazad whispers “listen…”
Now that the last show has come to a successful end and Q2 has embarked on its summer readings, it is time to start thinking about the next show, Arabian Nights.
I loved this play from the moment I read it, and I hope you will too! It is very much a “Q2 show” – minimal/no set, few but imaginative props, and lots of opportunities for actors to use their imagination and have a great deal of fun in the process.
The play was originally performed at the Young Vic in 1998, with a cast of five men and four women. But if I tell you that there are over 60 named roles in this play, you will see that the cast can easily be expanded, and I hope that will be the case with our production.
Now, before you get too excited, I should also mention that several of those named parts may only get one line, or occasionally no lines at all! But all actors will be very much part of the action, and there are many parts for “the company” . . . including horses, dogs and stones. It’s that sort of play.
The number of actors will only be limited by the amount of space we have at St. Luke’s (and those of you who have worked there will know that ‘backstage’ is tiny), but I would be very happy with anywhere between nine and thirteen actors, so there are lots of parts to go round.
The auditions will be of group scenes, as there is a scarcity of long speeches in this play. I’ll try to give everyone a chance to show what they can do, and may even give some direction to see how you change your approach. It will be a very physical show, but don’t be put off – there are parts for actors who may not be able to run around on all fours or jump from heights.
I hope that everyone auditioning will be prepared to play as cast, but if you have any strong likes or dislikes, please feel free to make them known.
The play is episodic, though there are some roles which will recur throughout the show: Shahrazad, her sister Dinarzad, their father the Vizier and the Sultan, Shahrayar, but some of the other parts will make even greater demands on the actors’ abilities and imaginations. It’s definitely a case of “no small parts, just small actors” – so prove it!
Fun is the key word with this show. I want us to have fun rehearsing it and the audience to have fun watching it. It’s going to be a major team effort and we’ll play around a great deal in rehearsals to find the best way to tackle the stories – hard work, but fun work.
The backstage crew will be absolutely vital to this show, and very much part of the team. Stage management, lights, sound, costume, props, and prompt will be an integral part of the creative team, so if you are interested in helping in any of these capacities, please get in touch, I would love to hear from you.
If you would like to read the play, I have copies available, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of the audition scenes will appear on the website after the reading.