Review by Miranda Johansen
The Little Prince, adapted from the classic French book of the same name, is a joyful and thoughtful production that follows the Prince’s journey through space, where he learns a little about the adult world, but teaches bored adults much more about the important things in life. And that is the central theme of the show – the rediscovery of playfulness, magic and wonder that seems to be sucked out of us as we get older and learn more about how the world works.
The format of the play roughly follows that of the book. The Prince leaves his home planet, which is shared by a beautiful rose that proudly states that it is the only rose in the universe. Fuelled by curiosity, the Prince travels around the universe, where he encounters a cast of adult caricatures who have a lot of silly ideas, a man who has crash landed his plane, a snake of dubious character and a wild fox whom the Prince learns to tame. Eventually, the Prince’s journey throughout the universe takes him back to his home planet, as he learns that, no matter how many other roses there are in the universe, the rose you love is nonetheless the most special and unique.
This production begins unexpectedly, as the two actors/puppeteers (Shane Adamczak and Jessica Lewis) play themselves nonchalantly unloading the set, appearing somewhat bored with their lives and jobs. From there, it becomes almost a play-within-a-play, as the story unfolds with occasional jumps back into the actors’ reactions as they become more and more engaged with the story – as does the audience. The musical interludes are well designed to keep the audience (especially the children) focused during set changes, with the lyrics often reinforcing the central themes of the scene.
The design of the set is simple yet effective – and the aeroplane reveal towards the end provides a definite highlight! It’s clear to see why the story of The Little Prince never gets old or tired – both adults and children alike will be moved by the inspiring yet melancholic story of a child who wonders why adults do such silly things sometimes.
When: 9th – 23rd April 2016 (11am & 1pm)
Where: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, (1 Short Street, Fremantle) PERTH
Info: Duration 45 minutes; Suitable all ages, perfect for 4+; No shows Sundays or Public Holidays