The Little Prince novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry needs no introduction. The book has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects. Would a play be able to live up to the expectations of one of the most famous novels?
The little prince at the Place adapted by Luca Silvestrini is an ecstatic masterpiece. It is, in fact, the proof that a play could represent the book to perfection if one is talented enough to make the script live on its own.
What really is beautiful of this show is how the emotions that one feels while turning the pages are well represented by the inspired interplay of music, sounds, light, choreography and voice. Through his work, Silvestrini takes you by hand, and, page by page, walks you into the novel.
And what a performance! The Little Prince played by Faith Prendergast is joyful, curious, naive, clever, perspicacious. It is the inner child of the pilot played by Kip Johnson. The synchronised choreography, the similarity in the colours of the clothes, the yellow scarf, all lead you swiftly to the understanding the pilot and the Little Prince are somehow connected.
Sometimes the pressure of our daily life, daily job, daily problems and issues is too much and reconnecting to the inner side could be a healing process. The Little Prince decides in fact to explore other planets.
He decides to leave the asteroid B-612 because it is only by taking the distance from the pond we are drowning in, that we could appreciate the beauty of life and relationships.
By meeting the Fox, the Lamplighter and the Geographer, all superbly played by Andre Gardiner, as well as the King, the Business Man, the Garden of Roses (what a laugh with the multiple voices) and the Snake, so elegantly played by Donna Lennard, he understands two pillars of friendship, life and love: ‘we are responsible for what we tame, and that what is essential is invisible to the eye’.
Why do we connect to one person rather than another? Why do we feel responsible for others? How could that responsibility become a joy and not a burden?
The little prince is a show that also very carefully uses animations artistically designed and executed by Daniel Denton, which, for who has read the novel, evokes memories of the drawings that the Pilot draws in his book for the Little Prince.
Costumes (by Yann Seabra) and Music (by Frank Moon) really complete a show that could not be more perfect.
Partially resembling a pantomime with the interaction with the audience as well as the throwing odd little paper airplanes, the Little Prince is fully choreographed and all the actors have the opportunity to shine and show their talent.
The Little Prince is a gem. Giving life to one of the most famous books was ambitious, but Silvestrini’s work exceeded expectations. A word of advice: do not miss it!
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Review: Giuseppe Barone Photo: Jane Hobson