One of my favourite parts of Christmas is a visit to the theatre. This year the Sherman Cymru their Christmas production is Arabian Nights – a magical musical production of intrigue, wonder and ultimately romance.
The story starts with the King, who betrayed by his wife sets off on a path of death and destruction, taking a new wife each night and murdering her the following morning. Enter the beautiful Shahrazad who begs her father to marry her to the King in order that she might try to save the lives of the daughters of the Kingdom.
Her magical telling of various stories including Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Es-Sindibad the Sailor eventually enchants the King and love wins through for that essential happy ending.
For me the actor-musicians really made this production. Weaving together music and dance showcased the talent on stage and for me gave an extra dimension and added to the wonder of the production. I also really loved how the limited cast took on a variety of roles which really showcased their talent as performers.
The show balanced perfectly the different elements of humour and darkness, lust and romance. There were funny notes, cut through by the constant reminder of the daily threat of beheading and whilst the stories were often told with an edge of humour, there was no hiding their darkness at points. More subtly, there ran through the course of the play, becoming more obvious towards the end the undercurrent of lust and love – the very things that brought about the broken heart of the King, and yet also healed him again.
Aimed not just at adults but at children aged 7 plus I was very excited to take Bean to this performance – our very own little date night!
Bean loved the experience of going out with Mummy and the show did well, it kept her entertained, and the darker elements of the story were subtle enough not to bother her. She is at the very youngest limit of the age guide though and I do think it is more suited to a slightly older audience. She was very pleased to get an ice cream in the interval though and was transfixed by the snowflake lighting in the foyer of the Sherman which never fails to emanate a great atmosphere. I think she particularly enjoyed some of the funnier stories.
I’d definitely recommend Arabian Nights to anyone looking for a Christmas Theatre trip with a twist – and who can resist a happy ending at Christmas?
5 – 31 December
Previews: 5 & 6 December
£15 – £25
Previews: £12 – £20
Concessions: £2 off
Under 25s: Half price
Schools price: £8 (1 teacher per 10 pupils goes free)
We were invited to the press performance of this show for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.