And on the Thousandth Night (GB)

Seven Kings and Queens tell all the stories in the world – in one performance.

And on the Thousandth Night takes its title and part of its inspiration from One Thousand and One Nights, and explores the live relationship between a story and its public, a story and its tellers.

A story is told, made up live, dragged from memory by a line of seven performers dressed as Kings and Queens, wearing cheap red cloaks and cardboard crowns. It is a long, mutating and endlessly self-cancelling story. It is a story which somehow, in its many dips and turns, seems to include many — if not all — of the stories in the world. Moving from the extraordinary to the banal, it mixes everything from film plots, religious stories, children’s stories, traditional tales, jokes and modern myths, to scary stories, love stories and sex stories.

The Kings and Queens compete, interrupting, exaggerating, taking over each other’s narratives and incorporating stolen bits into their own tales. Their storytelling moves between tiredness and hysteria, between absurd vulgarity and surprising tenderness. At times, some of the Kings and Queens take a break to sleep on the floor at the back of the space whilst their colleagues continue. At ten at night, perhaps, there are only two Kings left speaking, pushing on the tale, as one by one, the others come forward to rejoin the line.

Performers: Robin Arthur, Tim Etchells, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor.

Direction: Tim Etchells. Text: Tim Etchells and the company. Design and Lighting Design: Richard Lowdon.