Reviewed by Paula Citron
One Thousand and One Nights
Luminato Festival/Dash Arts Production
Dramatized and directed by Tim Supple
Stories adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh
Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre
Jul. 7 to 19
For a dazzling theatre experience, do not miss One Thousand and One Nights, a jewel in the crown of the Luminato Festival. The two parts together run six hours, but each can also stand alone.
British director Tim Supple created Dash Arts to collaborate with theatre artists from abroad. For One Thousand and One Nights, he has assembled a magnificent team from the Arabic world. The dialogue is in Arabic, French and English with surtitles.
The stories of One Thousand and One Nights are a revelation. Forget about the Ali Baba, Aladdin and magic carpets of your childhood picture books. The only character who remains is Shahrazad, and she is desperately telling stories to save her life. No matter how fantastical, her tales are brutal, sexually explicit and deeply profound. They present humanity, warts and all.
One Thousand and One Nights continues at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre until Jun. 19.
One or both parts, this imaginative production must be seen.