This year’s Junior Form’s production was the complex, humorous, entertaining and action-packed production of Arabian Nights, featuring 47 pupils from years 9 to 11.
Amidst special effects, gruesome props, puppetry, music, dance, an impressive set and beautiful costumes, the production includes a famous collection of Persian, Indian, and Arabian folktales, a different tale every night for 1,001 days.
The satisfying complexity of the tales was never sold short and the show weaved a potent spell of enchantment as it moved from cruelty to happiness and from the blissfully daft to the deeply affecting.
Sydney Davies’ Shahrazad never let us forget that her life depended upon her tale-spinning while Matthew Candy’s King Shahrayar moved, like Shakespeare’s Leontes, from tyrannical rage to moral penitence. Ben Stafford was a bold and brave Ali Baba who goes from poverty to wealth in an instant, all by hearing the magic phrase ‘Open Sesame’, whilst Lily Griffiths gave a smart and delightful performance as Princess Parizade who escaped the dreadful danger of the black stones and the threatening voices.
The stagecraft was beguilingly inventive, with actors impersonating dogs, donkeys, rivers and caves as well as humans.