October 2014 – March 2015

A magical project that casts children as heroes in a quest to find the genie’s lost story and bring their own tales of Arabian Nights to life.

Presented by Coney, Library of Birmingham and Birmingham REP

Arabian Nights engages Year 3 – Year 5 pupils in an interactive narrative adventure that will develop their creative writing skills, increase digital literacy and empower them as artists. Taking place over 4 weeks, it uses live performance, email, storytelling and involve pupils creating work alongside professional artists.

”I was definitely enthusiastic and I felt that I was being led on the journey too. I was just as excited as the children when we received emails! Watching the children in the Rep was great! Many of the children were whispering to their friend and saying, that’s my part, I wrote that! They were very proud of themselves!”.
Katie, Nansen Primary School



The project ran in Birmingham across Autumn 2014. We are now planning its next steps.

If you’re interested please get in touch at knock@coneyhq.org

On a day like any other, the class begin to watch an unusually boring video on the history of concrete when a technical fault occurs- the screen pixelates and the face of a Genie appears, asking the pupils for help: once a major character in Arabian Nights, he has disappeared from modern versions and his very existence is at risk.

Speaking to the class via emails and video messages, the genie helps them discover the stories of Arabian Nights and embark on a journey to Library of Birmingham to discover the magical secret room where the ancient book was lost… Discovering that the pages have crumbled to dust, the children must create new stories about the genie, complete the book in their classroom and return it to the Library so the stories can be shared. With a sprinkle of magic, the genie thanks the class by having their stories performed by professional actors on stage at the REP theatre.


Director/Writer: Tom Bowtell
Writer/Lead Facilitator: Fran Moulds
Producer: Alex Rowse
Project Manager: Georgina Bednar
Set and Costume Designer: Joanna Scotcher
Education Consultant and Editor: Juliet Desailly
Assistant Producer & Documentary Maker: Natalie Raaum
Assistant Designer/Props Supervisor: Alice Cox
Sound Designer: Tom Mills

Video Designer: Ben Harvey

Graphic Design support: Ross Aitken

Online Writer: Glyn Cannon
Cast: Fran Moulds, Julia Voce, Hezron Brown, Kriss Dosanj, Juliet Fry, Nadia Kemp-Sayfi, Kim Allsopp, Craig Hall

Volunteer: Tiurlan Passmore
Production Management: Liz Vass, Katie Banks, Chris Cuthbert from Acquis Media

With Library of Birmingham and Birmingham REP Theatre.
Jen Bakewell: Audience Engagement Coordinator at the Library
Steve Ball: Associate Director of the REP