Saint-Exupéry's book tells the story of The Little Prince, who leaves his home in asteroid B6-12 to journey through a weird universe, meeting new characters and learning about the value of friendship and love.
The set is made up a versatile collection of oversize globes (designs by Yann Seabra and lighting by Jackie Shemesh), around which four brightly clad performers from Luca Silvestrini’s Protein company enact the story. Two actresses alternate as The Little Prince; on press night, the minute, gamine Faith Prendergast was an entirely credible, hugely relatable protagonist.
Luca Silvestrini's The Little Prince. Photo: Jane Hobson
With super-fast costume changes, two performers bring to life the varied array of characters The Little Prince meets on his travels: Donna Lennard (Garden of Roses, Business Man, Rose, Snake and King) and Andrew Gardiner (Fox, Lamplighter and Geographer). The Little Prince ends up in a desert, where he meets a stranded Pilot (Kip Johnson on press night), whose plane has crashed.
They make friends and The Little Prince tells the Pilot of his journey. The story is told through words, song and dance to a specially commissioned score by Frank Moon. Some of the action, including the Pilot’s hesitant attempts at drawing, are illustrated by outline video (Daniel Denton) projected onto the backcloth.
There are many memorable scenes in this vivacious show; for this reviewer, the sequence where the wild Fox and The Little Prince slowly come to trust each other and become friends was one such. Starting on their knees from opposite sides of the stage, Fox and Little Prince slowly edge closer, the alarmed Fox jumping back when the over-enthusiastic boy comes too close too fast, and then resuming their cautious progress.
That it works on so many levels is not surprising: Luca Silvestrini is always keen to involve the audience in his creations, and The Little Prince is the result of extensive workshopping relying primarily on the contributions of young viewers.
There is a lot of humour and some gentle interaction with the audience. Luca Silvestrini’s The Little Prince fills the eye and the heart; and is an ideal family alternative to traditional Christmas shows.
We cannot recommend it highly enough.
|What||Luca Silvestrini's The Little Prince review|
|Where||The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Euston (underground)|
17 Dec 19 – 24 Dec 19, All evening performances 19:00. Starting times for daytime performances vary Dur.: 1 hour no interval
|Price||£14 (children £8 + other concessions)|
|Website||Click here to book|