London Bubble Theatre – Tales From The Arabian Nights

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16th August 2017 @ 19:30 Europe/London Timezone
Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park
London SE10 8XJ
Child* £12 | Senior & Concessions £14 | Adult £20 & group tickets
020 7237 4434

London Bubble Arabian Nights August 2017

Theatre – Tales From The Arabian Nights

London Bubble, the iconic South-East London theatre company will stage its first summer show in seven years, with performances of Tales from the Arabian Nights in Southwark Park (1–6 August), and Greenwich Park (9–19 August). Tickets are on sale now from

Tales from the Arabian Nights was the Bubble’s first promenade production when Farhana Sheikh’s play was staged in 1994, and is now being reimagined for summer 2017 under the direction of Bubble Creative Director Jonathan Petherbridge, with designs by Yasuko Hasegawa.

London Bubble staged their last ticketed summer show in 2010. After funding cuts in 2008 the company had to reinvent itself and become wholly sustainable without Arts Council funding. Their survivalist story – which saw Bubble rebuild the company on people power, passion and partnerships – has been held up as an example of resilience in the theatre industry. The Bubble is now delighted to reconnect with its audiences and go back to doing what they were most publically known and loved for.

London Bubble’s ethos is “people make theatre” and the mission has always been to create theatre that is inspirational, inclusive and involving – sharing stories that animate the spaces of the city and the spirits of its citizens. The Bubble staged its first summer show in 1972 and has been creating theatre both for and with communities throughout the outer London boroughs for nearly 45 years.

Playwright Farhana Sheikh said: “The Bubble commissioned Tales from the Arabian Nights back in 1994 and it was the first play I ever wrote, so it is a very special project for me. The stories of A Thousand and One Nights are part of a wonderful oral tradition – the remembering, retelling, recreating and reinventing of these tales of romance and adventure could last for days and in this play I attempt to recreate the power of the storyteller. I am delighted to rewrite it for this new production and bring the stories to a new Bubble audience.”

Creative Director Jonathan Petherbridge said: “I am really looking forward to creating a Bubble promenade adventure for a new generation and hopefully, welcoming some of the loyal supporters who enjoyed our shows in the past. Am I right in thinking there is currently a need for less formal theatre experiences that draw on great stories and bring people together in a natural environment? Bubble always provided that – welcoming all ages and building community under the night sky of London.”

Farhana Sheikh’s previous work includes the novel, The Red Box, and nine other plays, including – for the Bubble – Once Upon A Time Very Far from England, Gilgamesh, Gulliver’s Travels and Punchkin Enchanter. She co-wrote, with Adrian Jackson, the award-winning Mincemeat, and with the composer Thomas Johnson, an oratorio, Gilgamesh.

Jonathan Petherbridge has been making different sorts of theatre for nearly three decades – some orthodox work – shows developed from the work of a writer (Shakespeare, Brecht, Brenton), some inspired by places (parks, cliff tops, vaults), some driven by social purposes (young people, intergenerational projects, theatre for early years). He pioneered promenade theatre as a response to the dominance of the black box, directed and rejected the community play, and continually seeks to introduce theatre to effective settings.

Designer Yasuko Hasegawa was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Her childhood interest in ballet and storytelling led her to study theatre design at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has worked as theatre designer and community artist since graduation, both in the UK and Japan. In 2015, she designed London Bubble’s Grandchildren of Hiroshima, which was created with the local community of Hiroshima in Japan. She is designing installation for Seven for a Secret with Pegasus Theatre, Oxford in May 2017. She lives and works in Osaka.


Tales From The Arabian Nights
Southwark Park 1 – 6 August
Greenwich Park 9 – 19 August


Full price from 1 July:

Child* £12 | Senior & Concessions £14 | Adult £20

Group Tickets

6 or more tickets at £14 per ticket.
2 tickets for £34.

Please note 1 August is a preview night, with adult tickets at £10 and child tickets at £8.

*Children under 4 years go free

London Bubble aren’t posting tickets out so please don’t worry when you don’t receive them! Just come to the box office on the day and give your name. They’ll send more details nearer the time with how to find them in the park.

To book your place on this event, select a performance date from the list below:

Southwark Park Performances

Greenwich Park Performances



The London Bubble Theatre

London Bubble Theatre LogoSet up in 1972, London Bubble is a company that make theatre with its community and makes a community with theatre. The company’s aim is to provide the artistic direction, skills, environment and resources to create inspirational, inclusive, involving theatre, which shares stories that animate the spaces of the city and the spirits of its citizens.

London Bubble offer an ongoing programme of creative participation to schools, young people, adults and elders.

The programme Speech Bubbles runs locally in 14 schools for KS1 children referred with communication blocks and in 28 schools nationwide as a social franchise. Young Theatre Makers delivers drama to other younger people and retrains young people not in work, training or education. The Creative Elders Programme works with isolated elders in sheltered housing schemes and at the Bubble base in Rotherhithe.

Since 2000 the company has been making performance work co-created by participants of all ages and professional artists using a five stage process of research and development. This produces high quality co-created pieces in a style called Vernacular Theatre – made from local materials, by local people of all ages through a process that is supportive and social.

This process was recently used in Japan where Bubble’s Creative Director worked alongside Japanese artists and participants training children to interview survivors of the bomb then leading an exploration of the material. An ethos of inter-generational support and creativity was nurtured from which a production of the highest quality emerged. As well as being performed in Hiroshima, Misaki Setoyama’s script was read simultaneously by 9 community theatre organisations across the world and fed into After Hiroshima – produced in London in March last year.

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