Arabian Nights offers a taste of festive adventure

Arabian Nights

Nebli Basani and Patricia Panther in Arabian Nights / credit: Aly Wight

Natalie Arle-Toyne talks about playing multiple roles in the Lyceum Christmas show

Like the Citizens' Christmas show in Glasgow, Edinburgh's Lyceum swerves pantomime for a play that combines festive adventure with a theatricality that fits in with its year-round programme. But, as actor Natalie Arle-Toyne explains, 'They have festive spirit and are riotous family fun, with the villain and the good guys and everyone in between. The audience will still get involved but there is no traditional dame and the stories aren't ones you hear every Christmas.' And this year, the classic collection of tales Arabian Nights has space for plenty of great stories.

'I'm playing so many characters,' Arle-Toyne continues. 'I'm part of telling stories like The Girl Whose Mouth Ran Away with Her and The Genie, the Girl and the Chess Playing Monkey Boy. You can tell from those titles that it's going to be fun and a little crazy!'

Directed by Joe Douglas, who recently revived The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil, Arabian Nights promises excitement and a serious sensibility. It also fits elegantly with the Lyceum's vision of an international, inclusive theatre. Yet Arle-Toyne knows that it's no dour enterprise: 'It's going to be fast and fun and surprising. It'll be a feast for the eyes with lots of rich colour and fast-paced action.'

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Sun 26 Nov–Sat 6 Jan.

The Arabian Nights

Family show featuring the familiar faces of Aladdin, Sinbad and Ali Baba, along with mysterious genies, magic carpets, talking birds, and a whole host of heroes and villains.

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