Another traditional pantomime with all the necessary characters to make it a success: the villains; comedy leads; the handsome hero and who can forget the panto animal, in this case a camel named Drusilla.
Ali Baba is a downtrodden son whose rich father has died. His father’s will strangely leaves all his money to Ali’s older brother Khasim, who is a very greedy man. Ali’s deceased father was also the sultan’s brother and now Khasim, with his father’s riches, has designs on also becoming the sultan.
To raise some money as they are now poor Ali is sent to market by his mother, Dame Barbara to sell a large can of beans (ok I know its familiar) which they can’t eat as they don’t have a can opener. He meets a stranger on the way and in a comic exchange obtains the camel, Drusilla, for the beans.
Ali’s luck then changes on his way home when he stumbles across a cave laden with gold that opens and shuts via the magic words Open and Close Sesame. This cave actually belongs to the Forty Thieves or in this case the Four Tea Thieves, a name for which there is a very plausible and comic explanation.
Ali returns home with Drusilla and before Dame Barbara can tell Ali off he surprises her with the gold. She then promptly goes off to market to spend it.
Khasim through his evil eavesdropping hears about the magic cave and gold and decides that he wants it all for himself. He finds the cave which is open (someone has forgotten to close it) and enters to steal the gold but then can’t get out when it is shut (he only knows the words to open the cave). So, he is trapped inside until released by the thieves. Through some comic double talk he persuades the gullible Four Tea Thieves not to kill him and in fact to let him be their leader which is further cemented when they all spy on Ali taking even more gold from the cave.
Meanwhile, Ali tells his love, Morgiana, about the gold. She is the sultans PA and recognises the crest on the bag as gold stolen from the sultan. She gives Ali an ultimatum, it is either her or the gold.
The sultan is now looking for Khasim to speak to him about some inconsistencies with his late brothers will and meets with Dame Barbara where it becomes clear she is having feelings for her brother-in-law which may not be reciprocated.
Khasim as leader of the gang of four then persuades them to kill everybody who knows about the cave and the gold, so the bumbling thieves go to the house of Baba to do away with Dame Barbara and Ali and anyone else who is there.
A comic fight ensues with the sultan arriving just in time. Khasim has forged his late fathers will to cheat his mother and brother Ali out of their inheritance (how heartless). So, Khasim is arrested and loses his money which goes rightfully to Ali who now has the riches he was looking for and the thieves put to work washing Dame Barbara’s underwear and brewing tea. They of course, all live happily ever after (except for Khasim and the Four Tea Thieves).
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