Sunday, 2 January 2022

REVIEW: The Little Prince at The Place, London

‘A rockpile ceases to be a rockpile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of the Cathedral.’ – The Little Prince.

A good meal is greater than the sum of its parts and in much the same way, a good show isn’t just a convergence of good aspects of production. Whilst each aspect of this show is stunning, it’s Luca Silvestrini's direction and dramaturgy, which elevates this show from good to wonderful. The cosmic concoction of Daniel Denton’s enchanting animation, Frank Moon’s gorgeous music, divine lighting by Jackie Shemesh, Yann Seabra’s touring friendly set, the choreography and script devised by the company, under Silverstrinin’s direction make for an otherworldly and moving experience. Unlike usual seasonal shows, refreshingly, this production invites the imagination to travel beyond and quite simply, it is not to be missed. I dragged my two reluctant children (10 and 11 years old) from their screens to see it and much to their dismay, they were on the edge of their seats, captivated from beginning to end.

The script, devised by the company poetically and lyrically tells Saint-Exupéry’s tale, which explores big themes such as perception, greed, art, friendship and man’s relationship to the world, through the eyes of a child, the Little Prince beguilingly played by Faith Prendergast.

The Little Prince, who’s fallen to earth from his asteroid, meets our narrator/child pilot (played by Simon Palmer) in the desert, where his paper plane has crashed down and here begin their adventures. They encounter Fox, engagingly embodied by Andrew Gardiner and Snake, played by Donna Lennard and a cast of many other characters played by the two of them. Lennard is particularly fabulous as Snake, Rose and King and Gardiner’s Lamplighter are unforgettable. The choreography is gorgeous, capturing the innocence and elucidating playful and caring friendship. Each scene is magical, not dissimilar to Yellow Submarine or Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

During a time of mass consumption and chaos, it is good to be reminded that ‘It is only with the heart that we can see clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye’ (The Little Prince). And this show made my heartstrings sing and my childlike innocence reawakened. 

This enchanting and theatrically exquisite show is a must-see for all children and their grown-ups.
There is a reason that Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s tale is the fourth most translated book in the world.

Review by Mandy Gordon

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: D11 | Price of Ticket: £14 full/£12 concessions, Child £8
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