Arabian Nights – The Three Treasures


This is one of five productions at this year’s Festival by New York’s Singing Harp theatre company, who perform stories adapted from traditional fairy tales and classic literature. In this luscious production we are treated to the tale of The Three Treasures, a luminous story of jealousy, revenge and redemption.

The set is immediately inviting, with sumptuous furnishings and thoughtfully chosen props. The company has gone equally to town on the stunning traditional costumes, and it is easy to imagine that we are looking through a window into an opulent Persian palace. Four women perform the story, Alyssa Reit introduces us to the tale and performs a beautiful and unobtrusive accompaniment on the harp, while Leanne DeCamp, Una McGillicuddy and Lisa Wenzel take turns narrating and acting out the unfolding narrative. The performances are polished and the three women switch between the different roles with impressive fluidity, while never compromising the clarity of the narrative. There were murmurings of discontent from fidgety children in the audience as their attention waned towards the end of the show, implying that the relaxed pace of the story is a bit too serene to maintain the attention of younger audience members. Perhaps a bit of an adrenaline injection is needed, and more use of physical theatre, dance and song might inject a bit of pizzazz to offset the soothing bedtime story facet of the show.

This production provides a welcome bit of escapism from the Fringe frenzy outside, so sit back, relax and allow yourself to get lost in a timeless, tranquil fable ably performed by a group of talented storytellers.

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