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Sinbad the sailor all set to sail the seas once again

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

Saikat Ahamed in Sinbad the Sailor

Saikat Ahamed in Sinbad the Sailor

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Over the last few years, the Christmas shows at the Tobacco Factory Theatre have become a byword among Bristol theatre audiences for their zestful storytelling, excellent use of live music and puppetry, and general theatrical charm.

And this year's festive offering should be one of their most joyous, imaginative affairs yet.

For centuries, stories have been told of Sinbad the Sailor and his incredible adventures; stories of catastrophic shipwrecks, far-off lands and mythical beasts.

Escaping the clutches of cannibals, one-eyed ogres and man-eating snakes, Sinbad is the ultimate swashbuckling, seafaring hero.

Every hero has a secret story, however, and in the Tobacco Factory's version, Sinbad's is about to come back and surprise him.

Our hero doesn't know who to trust or which way to turn, but he does know that he must undertake one final voyage into the unknown.

The show is a co-production with Bristol's brilliant young people's theatre troupe, Travelling Light, partners in previous TF festive gems, including Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and the Olivier Award-nominated Cinderella: A Fairytale. It's directed by Craig Edwards, whose recent Bristol directing credits include the beautiful kids' shows Two Four Six Eight! and You're Not My Friend Anymore, as well as the hilarious The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

"Everyone has an image of Sinbad – a swashbuckling devil-may-care, handsome chap with a winning smile and a bag of treasure," Craig reflects.

"Our production, though, tells Sinbad's secret story. A crew of fishermen find Sinbad on their ship; he's a man whose every story starts or ends with a shipwreck, or the horrible destruction of his fellow travellers. Here is a man who is either the luckiest or the unluckiest man alive. What will the crew do?

"Listen to his stories, or throw him overboard before something horrible befalls them and their ship?

"We won't give the game away, but let's just say Sinbad's story becomes a search for the greatest treasure."

An impressive cast includes Chris Bianchi and Lucy Tuck, stars of Bristol Old Vic's wonderful summer show The Boy Who Cried Wolf; Saikat Ahamed, who lit up both Cinderella and Ali Baba; and CBeebies star Zara Ramm (Grandpa In My Pocket).

The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, uns until Sunday, January 12, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

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