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THE CINNAMON VEIL (2000)
TM commission written by Sara Clifford
Original live music by singer/composer Najma Akhtar


East collides with West in this sizzling tale of the spice trade.

This voyage of discovery follows Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama across uncharted seas to India in a cut-throat search for the 'scents of Eden': magical, healing spices worth more than their weight in diamonds and gold. In a world where myth becomes reality, the notorious Vasco crosses the path of the legendary Sinbad the Sailor.

This exotic narrative unfolds as if it were a series of Bedouin campfire stories, mixing history, myth and Arab folk tales... (but) the Cinnamon Veil deliberately lacks the healing power of storytelling evident in the Arabian Nights, leaving us at the end with the howling pain caused by the West's entry into Asia.
The Times


Najma’s live score uses guitar, percussion, sitar and voices to interweave Portuguese, Arabic and Indian musical forms into a rich tapestry of sound that shifts with the story as it travels through stormy oceans and vast, changing landscapes.

Cochrane Theatre, London & national tour performed by an international cast of actors and musicians from Africa, Indian sub-continent, Portugal and UK.

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Arts Council England