Breaking with the Library Theatre's usual staging, this in-the-round production of Arabian Nights by director Amy Leach creates a magical experience that audiences young and old will never forget.
Her reasoning for breaking with tradition is that most of the tales derive from nomadic traders moving across Asia and north Africa. At night they would sit around camp fires telling magical and mystical stories.
The central story of Arabian Nights is that of the cuckolded King Shahrayer taking revenge on women by marrying them for a night then beheading them.
Determined to stop this madness, the beautiful Shaharazad gives herself to the king and as night begins to fade she tells her wonderful tales.
The King is hooked and cannot allow her to be killed as he needs to hear more of these stories.
So Shaharazad weaves her spell over 1,001 nights until finally the king's heart melts.
What makes this such a great production of these captivating tales is the enthusiastic cast who, villain one moment, hero the next, switch effortlessly between the 100-plus characters.
There are some nice slapstick touches and plenty of audience participation too.
Designer Hayley Grindle's fabulous set celebrates the diversity and richness of multiculturalism, reflecting the different architecture and colours of the Middle East, Africa and India.
And that great jazz musician Arun Ghosh not only directs the music but also plays live throughout the performance, suffusing it with a great atmosphere.
On a cold winter's evening, as a bitter chill rasps along the Manchester ship canal and ice begins to set on dark city streets, this production will warm your heart and leave you with that cosy feel-good feeling. Can't be bad.
Runs until January 12 2013. Box office: (0161) 200-1532.