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Arabian Nights

Simon Thomas: Photo by Keith PattisonBy Karen Louise Hebden

Composer/Musical Director
Derby Playhouse

Director: Stephen Edwards

Tales full of mischief, valour and romance, including Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp.

These are the fabulous and magical tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband the King executed each of his brides after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending. A thousand and one nights later her life was spared forever.

Armed with the brief from Director Stephen Edwards of ‘Persian circus’, Kelvin set about creating an almost wall to wall score of the Persian, comic and romantic. With songs as well as underscore to compose, the score developed over a 4 week rehearsal period and was to be realized with just 4 musicians including Kelvin. To add some realism to the sound he decided to feature the erhu, a Chinese 2 stringed violin, in the arrangements as well as a soprano sax, violin and viola. Add to this a bass clarinet and a battery of gongs, cymbals and drums and the world of Arabian Nights was achieved.

"Kelvin Towse's music plays a vital role in creating atmosphere....with Chinese erhu offering authenticity and sultry saxophone adding heat."
The Independent

"...liltingly oriental score."
The Guardian

"…the production provides a superb example of how to integrate narrative, drama, design, music, dance and magic"

“Kelvin Towse’s original music underscores the text and is an excellent vehicle for the pure voice of Aura Deva.”
The Stage

“Kelvin Towse’s original music is rich and atmospheric.”
Derby Evening Telegraph

“Kelvin Towse’s music, a skilful inter-weaving of the Persian, the Arabic and the Chinese, is masterly.”

More audio clips from Arabian Nights may be found on the Media page.

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