‘1,000 Nights’ – for one night only

Ballet Ireland will present Scheherazade and 1,001 Arabian Nights in the Watergate Theatre on November 30 at 8pm.

Ballet Ireland will present Scheherazade and 1,001 Arabian Nights in the Watergate Theatre on November 30 at 8pm.

Choreographed by Morgann Runacre-Temple, the full-length production is based on the story of 1,001 Nights, of which legendary Persian queen Scheherazade is the storyteller.

It portrays the story of The Shahriyar, the Sultan of ancient Persia, who enjoys the pleasures and entertainment of his concubines and favourite wife Zobeide. His brother suggests that Zobeide is unfaithful and recommends that they pretend to go on a hunting trip, however, and as soon as the king and his brother have departed, the male slaves are freed and there is an orgy within the harem. Zobeide chooses the handsome Golden Slave, and they fall into a passionate embrace.

With the revelry in full swing, the King returns unexpectedly. Enraged at Zobeide’s betrayal, he orders that all be killed. After all have perished and only Zobeide remains, the king hesitates. She begs his forgiveness, but eventually realises the futility of it all. She then stabs herself, falling at his feet.

Here, the 1910 ballet ends and Ballet Ireland takes up the tale. In the original text continues: Betrayed by his former wife, King Shahriyar vows to marry, love and then behead a new bride each night, never to be betrayed again. Having murdered thousands of women, he encounters the beautiful and wise Scheherazade, who pleads to tell a story before her impending execution. For 1,001 nights, he postpones her execution, enthralled, as he awaits her next tale of love, lust, hilarity or sorrow.

Tickets cost €18/€15 and are available from the box office on 056 7761674. There is also a concession price of €10 for ballet students.