Cast announced for reimagining of Arabian Nights at Bristol Old Vic

Casting has been announced for Arabian Nights at Bristol Old Vic this festive season.

Running from 23 November 2023 – 6 January, the new modern reimagining of Arabian Nights comes from writer Sonali Bhattacharyya (Chasing Hares – Young Vic; Two Billion Beats – Orange Tree Theatre) and directed by award-winning Blanche McIntyre.

In Arabian Nights, Schere has the quickest wits, greatest courage, and most marvellous stories. She also plans to liberate every young woman in the Kingdom from the greedy and tyrannical King – all through the power of her storytelling.

But can she really do this alone? Or will she need to first turn to her annoying younger sister? Bringing the whole Kingdom together, the sisters discover the power in finding their collective voice.

Making up the cast are Yasemin Özdemir as Schere, Sara Diab as Dina, Saikat Ahamed as Maruf, Nicholas Karimi as the King, Patrick Osborne as Jafar, Ajjaz Awad as Gulab and Umm, Arinder Sadhra as Rahiq and Zara, and Roxy Faridany as Maryam and Lily

The creative team features design by Hannah Sibai, lighting design by Nao Nagai, movement direction by Aline David, sound design & composition by Oğuz Kaplangi, puppetry design & consultation by Samuel Wilde, casting direction by Christopher Worrall CDG, associate direction by Melinda Namdar, costume supervision by Anna Dixon and puppetry supervision by Hannah Southfield.

Blanche McIntyre said: “Our vision for Arabian Nights is to stay true to the spirit of the original collection of stories, known as 1001 Nights, honour the different heritages of the stories (tales put together across centuries, handed down in many different countries), and bring it all into the 21st century for everyone to share. I am so excited to be working with this sensational company. I know that their incredible talent, invention and wit will create something absolutely wonderful.”

Sonali Bhattacharyya added: “This is a festive, joyous, fantastical show for all the family, that celebrates the power of the collective and centres the courageous young women who so often lead the charge for social justice and change.”

For more information and tickets, visit

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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