Soho Theatre Upstairs, London
New Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon College
Royal Exchange Theatre Studio, Manchester
The Guildhall, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
Barnfield Theatre In Association with the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter

Arab Nights

Six tales of revolution in this modern day Arabian Nights

Shahrazad needs to survive for just one more night. Can her stories save her?

Meet diabolical djinnis, a latter-day Sinbad and a shoe-obsessed dictator’s wife in this collection of six new plays inspired by recent events in the Middle East and North Africa.


From the stirring to the satirical we bring these stories to life with our signature mix of performance, puppetry and live music to create an Arabian Nights for a modern age.

Arab Nights writers include: Baghdad Wedding playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak (Iraq); an anonymous writer (Iran); storyteller Chirine El Ansary (Egypt); journalist Ghalia Kabbani (Syria); live artist Tania El Khoury (Lebanon); and Orwell Prize-winning novelist Raja Shehadeh (Palestine).

During the London run there were several post-show discussions.

Palestine and the Arab Spring – with Raja Shehadeh (Orwell Prize winning Palestinian Novelist and one of the authors of Arab Nights)

Story-telling and Theatre – with Stephe Harrop (professional story-teller and professor of story-telling at Rose Bruford)

The Situation in Syria – with Ghalia Kabbani (Syrian novelist & journalist and one of the authors of Arab Nights) and Henry Hogger (former British ambassador to Syria)

1001 Nights today – with Tim Supple (International theatre director and former Artistic Director of the Young Vic. His multi-lingual, Arabic production of One Thousand and One Nights for Dash Arts premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2011)

The Situation in Egypt – with Chirine El Ansary (Egyptian story teller & one of the authors of Arab Nights) and Gerald Butt (Middle East analyst & former BBC Egypt correspondant)




Shahrazad & ensemble | Houda Echouafni
Dinarzad & ensemble | Natalie Dew
Perviz & ensemble | Lahcen Razzougui


Writer | The Tale of Sindbad and the old Goat | Hassan Abdulrazzak
Writer | The Tale of the River Brides | Chirine El Ansary
Writer | The Tales of the Two Djinnis and the Wall | Raja Shehadeh
Writer | The Tale of the Dictator’s Wife | Tania El Khoury
Writer | The Tale in His Mind | Anonymous
Writer | The Tale of the Lady of Damascus | Ghalia Kabbani

Director | Poppy Burton-Morgan
Designer | William Reynolds
Composer & Musical Director | Bushra El Turk
Costume Consultant | Rajha Shakiry

Producer | Vicky Graham
Production Manager | Ben Crawford
Stage Manager | Elise Stewart
Trailer | Liam Welton for Chaotic Creations





★★★★ ‘exquisite…impressive… the physical wit and economical elegance carry you on into empathy, beyond the daily horror of the headlines.’ - Libby Purves in The Times

‘Visually inventive… immensely striking… Poppy Burton-Morgan’s production skilfully uses everything from puppetry to hi tech’ - Michael Billington in The Guardian

‘an exceptional melding of myth and modern protest…Arab Nights is an unequivocal achievement. With its exciting treatment of current events, its ingenious use of The Arabian Nights’ original qualities and its beautiful acting, it offers an experience at once magical and profound.’ - Spoonfed