Lily Brayton as Zahrat Al-Kulub in Chu Chin Chow

Lily Brayton as Zahrat Al-Kulub in Chu Chin Chow

Lily Brayton in her role as Zahrat Al-Kulub, in the box office smash hit based on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It was widely thought that Lily helped her husband Oscar Asche to write the script for Chu Chin Chow. She certainly played a major role in the action. The Robber Chieftain Abu Hasan forces his captive, the beautiful Zahrat Al-Kulub, to spy for him by holding her lover hostage. She is nearly found out several times. Finally, on the eve of an attack on Ali Baba’s family, planned by Abu Hasan, she disposes of the forty thieves using the traditional boiling oil, stabs Abu Hasan and generally saves the day. Lily was already a well known actress and one of the great postcard beauties of the Edwardian era. She and Asche had played Shakespeare and had many other successes together. The role of Zahrat Al-Kulub was a non-singing role, so must have been written around Lily’s strengths, which lay in her acting, not her singing.