It was back in 2010 when London Bubble, the iconic 47-year-old theatre company, drew the curtains for what we thought was the last time.
Following a substantial cut to their funding from the Arts Council, the southeast London company was unable to continue creating the inspirational, inclusive and involving family-friendly theatre for which they had become renowned.
Years of continued commitment to the company has enabled Bubble to reinvent itself as a wholly self-sustaining unit. Under the banner “people make theatre,” they’ll be triumphantly returning to the parks of Southwark and Greenwich this month to do what they do best: bring Londoners of all ages together to enjoy theatre under the nights sky.
They’re beginning their relaunch with a modernised version of Farhana Sheikh’s Tales from the Arabian Nights. This series of classic stories, traditionally told across trading routes running from East Asia to North Africa, was Bubble’s first promenade production.
Who better to re-write the original than Farhana herself? “This is understandably a very special project for me,” she says, “telling these tales is part of the continuation of a wonderful oral tradition.”
By reinventing these tales of romance and adventure, she hopes to “recreate the power of the story teller for a new generation.” The series of tales will be further invigorated by set designs from Tokyo’s Yasuko Hasegawa.
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