by Richard Baines


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by Richard Baines

It is important for people to keep in touch with their traditional stories. One way of telling these stories, some might say the best way, is through drama.

This collection of five plays consists of traditional tales from Morocco, Persia, Palestine, Ancient Egypt and the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights from the Middle East.

The Girl Who Ran with Gazelles: A folktale from Morocco about a young Arab girl who outwitted a lecherous Muezzin and a thieving Vizier. This is a mystery thriller with a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

Sohrab and Rustum: This story comes from the Persian Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran. It is the complicated tale of passionate yet tragic family ties in the lives of strong and arrogant men. Our play includes several crowd sequences and ends with a dramatic stage fight.

Im ‘Ali and Abu ‘Ali: This Arab folktale from Palestine tells of a poor, uneducated, hen-pecked husband who manages to rise to be a friend of the King! It is a comic story about the relationships between men and women.

The Return of Sinuhe: The story of Sinuhe is one of the best-loved tales of the literature of Ancient Egypt. It tells of a hero travelling from his home in disgrace only to return as a wiser old man. It is a dramatic tale of love, betrayal, murder, revenge and the long journey into the territory of the soul.

Aladdin and the Magic Lamp: This tale is from the Middle Eastern (Syria / Iraq?) One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. A favourite theme in all folklore is the triumph of good over evil. This version, however, has something additional to say about high finance, true love and shopping. It is a light-hearted musical comedy.

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