Shining Lights - Arabian Nights
12th to 13th December 2003.
Here's the review from the Newbury and Thatcham Chronicle.
Young cast weave tales of Arabia in clever setting
Shining Lights Arabian Nights, New Greenham Arts Centre
This was not only youth theatre at its best but quality ensemble playing rarely seen on the professional stage. This is not to say the production was faultless.
Director Pete Watt draws on a wide range of talents from the utterly compelling to the barely adequate. Mostly the casting is clever and effective but occasionally weaker cast members were allowed to drag the performance down.
However, cleverness of setting, a childs nursery filled with toys, and
the costumes, a hybrid mix of nightgowns with a hint of the east, allowed
the cast to really work together to weave these Arabian tales.
Holly Sainsbury gave us some delightful comic characters, particularly as the snobbish sister-in-law of Ali Baba, while Jade Buller and Lana Howard had exactly the right combination of gravitas and childish innocence to carry off the different parts of Dinarazard and Shaharazad respectively.
Neil Edlin was a commanding King Sharayar but I felt that he needed to develop a wider vocal range if he is to create more variety in his characters.
Tom Harlland and Shenelle Metha both demonstrated a clear understanding of ensemble playing, creating a variety of delightful characters.
The end of the first act saw an hilarious coup de théâtre when the
story of Sinbad the Sailor (breathtakingly delivered by Alec Hopkins) was
acted out as a puppet show using various items found in the nursery action
men, a childs teapot, and Ed the Duck as an evil Rook.
And here are some pictures (click on them to see bigger versions).