The Champion Of Paribanou: Synopsis

Cast: 7 male / 3 female
Running time (approximate): 2 hours 10 minutes - not including the interval
Acting edition: Published by Samuel French

The magnanimous sultan of a happy land between Bisanger and Samarkand comes upon the perfect solution for lasting peace with the neighbouring kingdom of Kawar: the marriage of one of his three sons to the Kingdom’s Princess Nouronnihar. Alas, the princes have little interest in the plan: Houssain, the eldest, would rather be reading, Ali prefers the maids and Ahmed has sworn his loyalty to Murganah, the Grand Vizier’s adopted daughter.

Luckily for them, when Princess Nouronnihar arrives, she isn’t interested either. To appease their parents, the young people contrive a plan of delay: the princes pretend they are all in love with Nourinnihar, and she with them, so they must go on a quest to bring her the most desirable object - and fail.

Alas, the deeply dejected and unruly Murganah, believing herself betrayed by Ahmed, follows them to prevent Ahmed achieving his goal. Fatefully, she meets the hooded figure of Schaibar, who grants her all the worldly powers for the price of her soul… Murganah could do good with her powers, but chooses to do evil. It falls on the impressionable, weak Ahmed to learn to fight for his family and friends.

As Murganah wreaks havoc in the court, Ahmed discovers the mysterious Princess Paribanou who reveals the truth about Schaibar and his corrupting influence. Trapped by magic in her cave until Schaibar is defeated, she declares Ahmed her champion.

Returning to the kingdom, Ahmed confronts Murgannah despite her limitless power and superior sword-craft. They fight, but Murganah's arrogance is her undoing and Ahmed deals a fatal blow. As Schaibar returns to claim her soul, the kingdom is restored and Paribanou's curse is lifted.

Note: This synopsis by Alan Ayckbourn for the published edition of The Champion of Paribanou has been extended for the website by Simon Murgatroyd.

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn & Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holdero