Review: Arabian Nights

Tuesday 18th June 2024

The Ellis Theatre hosted guest director Sam Pullen-Campbell’s vibrant production of Arabian Nights. A talented group of Shell pupils took on this challenge and used physical storytelling to bring to life the court of King Shahrayar.

This was very much an ensemble production with some outstanding performances that created a pageant of vivid characters. Issy I shone in the role of Shahrazad, the storyteller determined that her words could sway the young King’s mind. She was supported brilliantly by Aurelia S, playing her sister Dinarzad with genuine passion alongside Rohan S’s comical and tireless Vizier. This was overseen by a commanding performance from Cristiano ML as Shahrayar himself, giving great authority and a growing empathy to the character. There were many fantastic performances from the ensemble quickly switching between characters to create vast landscapes of romance, comedy and tragic drama. This is a testament to how the cast had explored each story in depth, really getting to the heart of the narrative and bringing it to life in so many inventive ways.

Paul Cox’s wonderful set design created the grandeur of the palace whilst also providing a wonderful desert landscape for the stories to unfold. Jasmine Butler’s lighting design was bold and inventive alongside the colourful array of costumes provided by Dale Armitage and Claire Allott. This was a wonderful production that promises a great deal from our talented young performers as they move through the College – congratulations to all involved!

David Kenworthy
Head of Drama

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