Marcello Magni, director of Tell Them That I Am Young and Beautiful at the Arcola, in which he stars alongside an international company including Kathryn Hunter, gives us five good reasons to go along...

1. Five stories

During Tell Them That I Am Young and Beautiful you will be told not one, but five stories. Each one has a tiny arc, but shows huge episodes of life, capturing a human choice in a concise, provocative and immediate way. Come to see the living results of our experiment, exploring the boundaries where short stories meet drama, and the enduring potential of the oral tradition today.

2. Five performers from around the world

Greece, Sierra Leone, Poland, Nigeria and Italy. Kathryn Hunter, Patrice Naiambana, David Bartlomeij Soroczynski, Kora player Tunde Jegede and myself. I wanted to collaborate with a team from diverse cultures and experiences not close to my own roots. During the many workshops in the Jerwood Space, the Young Vic and the Arcola, we researched and read many stories, worked with many artists and friends in many forms, such as puppetry, shadow puppetry and Commedia dell’Arte.

3. Brilliant writing

Gilles Aufray says about the show: “In periods of darkness when intolerance, injustice, greed and corruption reign supreme, stories have always been there to remind us that we should try showing some humanity while we are among humans. But that is only a dream, a dream that only exists in stories.” And by the way, we love to tell stories.

4. Fantastic live music by acclaimed Kora-player, Tunde Jegede who says…

“Developing the music for this show was dynamic, challenging but most of all fun. It was a very organic process between music and theatre in which I learned much. Marcello's way of working is a very natural one and hopefully this can be felt in the final show itself.”

5. We take you all over the world in just one night

A farmer proposes marriage under the stars in Italy, a kidney donor is on the run in Paris, birds come to life in ancient India, a brother plays dead in Senegal, and a young lover is in search of Truth.

Tell Them That I Am Young and Beautiful opens at the Arcola on Friday (9 September 2011, previews from 6 September) and continues until 8 October