Sinbad – The Untold Tale

By Charles Way

A spectacular play for everyone above the age of six which will entertain adults and children alike. This is a seasonal play with a difference – being set in medieval Islam there is no mention of Xmas. There is however plenty of traditional adventure, swordplay and intrigue. It was billed as ‘A lost adventure from the Arabian nights’.


The story begins in a busy Baghdad, a city full of life, colour and danger. Sinbad the porter, a young man who survives on his wits and not much else, is given a box to carry to the house of the famous Sinbad the sailor, who is now an old man. On arrival the porter meets Ittifaq, Sinbad’s quarrelsome daughter and their differences soon become apparent. Just as the porter is about to leave, the house is visited by the ancient Sorceress Jan Shah. Jan Shah places a deadly cloud over the city that threatens to kill all its inhabitants. The antidote is in a flower, in a cave deep beneath the sea and Jan Shah challenges the old sailor Sinbad to go one last adventure and save the city he loves. Sinbad the sailor knows he cannot do this and thus the task falls to the two youngsters. Their journey is daring and hazardous and involves a magic boat, a silent but deadly genie and, most dangerous of all, a confrontation with Jan Shah who wants nothing less than the blood of Ittifaq in order to be come young again – and perhaps live forever.

Notes from the original programme

‘The challenge for me was how I could present a story that was part of theatre tradition we recognise but also true to the world in which they originally took place, the world of the famous caliph, Harun al-Rashid. What particularly interested me was the relationship between magic in medieval Islam and science in the modern world. Genetic science is now knocking on the door of death itself and promising to defeat it and extending our lives to appoint unimaginable a short time ago. This feels to me rather like magic.’

‘A fabulous new adventure containing all the exciting ingredients of the much loved, ‘Tales from the Arabian Nights.’ Watch out for flying carpets, a magic boat, a green genie and two unlikely heroes. The perfect treat for family and friends, Charles way’s new play will entertain adults and children alike’

Minimum cast size

6 (4M 2F). The play could also be performed by a larger cast of performers skilled in movement and acrobatics.


  • Jan Shah
  • Ittifaq
  • Sinbad the porter
  • Sinbad the voyager
  • The Silent Genie
  • The Genie Abu Nuwas

Production history

First produced at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, directed by Ian Forrest and designed by Martin Johns in 2006/7 season with an all black, British cast.

Available from

Sinbad – The Untold Tale is published by Aurora Metro Press in The Classic Fairytales 2 Retold for the Stage (together with The Tinderbox and The Golden Goose). ISBN 978-0-9551566-7-0

Age suitability

Suitable for the whole family.


All images and content © Charles Way 2018