In 2011, Theatre 13 presented "Ali Baba and the Thief of Samarkand".
The story is based on the fairy tale of Ali Baba, but was adapted by Helen Heron. She wrote the play as a Christmas Pantomime especially for our group of native speakers (US American, British, Irish, Australian) and English-speaking Germans, who all love acting and practicing their English. But Helen also kept an eye on our audience, which is very mixed – both young and old, ‘ex-pats’ and original Franconians – she made sure everyone would be able to understand the show and have a great time watching.
Theatre 13’s ALI BABA starts off at The Bazaar in Old Samarkand. One day, a poor young man Ali and his slightly dopey brother Bobo go shopping and see the Sultan’s daughter, the Princess Daisy, and her servant Dolly. Bobo and Ali immediately fall in love with the girls. Daisy and Dolly are very happy to see the two young men, as they are only able to leave the palace on special occasions and no men are normally allowed near them.
Later on, Ali and Bobo manage to sneak into the palace, which is a very dangerous thing to do. A guard warns the princess that there are men in the palace. Instead of being upset, Daisy and her servants are all very excited and hope that the two men are Ali and Bobo. Although they liked the men at first sight, the girls realize that they could just be fortune-hunters wanting only the princess’s money. So, she swaps places with her attendant Dolly, who pretends to be her. Ali and Bobo arrive in the girls’ quarters and immediately fall in love during a nice chat. Then a guard warns them that they must escape. Before they run, the princess gives Ali a ring.
The next day, Ali and Bobo are at the bazaar again when the Sultan’s herald announces that a thief has been to the palace and has stolen a valuable necklace from the princess. The herald has a picture of the thief which he shows around. Unfortunately the picture is clearly of Bobo. He is immediately arrested and taken to prison. Ali knows his brother is innocent, but must be able to prove so – therefore he has to find out who really took the necklace.
At home, Ali and his mother try to think who the thief might be when Ali remembers the ring and starts rubbing it. A djeannie appears and suggests that someone must have seen the real thief putting the necklace in Bobo’s pocket. Ali remembers that a child had tried to get his attention at the bazaar, so the djeannie conjures up the child to Ali’s house. The child says that it had seen the Grand Vizier, the Sultan’s advisor, putting the necklace in Bobo’s pocket.
The Baba family goes to the Sultan’s palace with the child and Ali tells the Sultan what they found out. The Sultan is very surprised that his own Grand Vizier would do such a thing. The Grand Vizier is thrown into prison and Bobo is released immediately. The Sultan suggests that Ali may marry the princess and that he could have half the kingdom, but Ali declines, saying he would rather marry her servant, Dolly. The princess jumps in and explains that Ali doesn’t realize she is actually the princess, and is doubly happy that he really is not in love with her position, but with herself. Bobo, of course, gets to marry Dolly, and they all live happily ever after.