Luca Silvestrini’s Protein dance theatre company have created a sweet and magical piece based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella The Little Prince, and I caught it at one of its final performances on Christmas Eve as part of my festive shows for children project.
A pilot has crashed his plane and meets a little prince from another planet; a planet so small he can watch multiple sunsets from it each night. A very Gallic fox, a little nervous at first, a little foppish, follows and comments on the action, and both he and the Pilot interact skilfully with the audience, especially the smaller members who were enraptured with the spectacle before them.
Using dance, video projection, humorous characters, and pathos, The Little Prince teases out what it is to be a child, full of wonder – and how quickly we forget, as adults, to stop and marvel at the small things in the world. For the prince, the world is simple and as he meets other adults during his travels, he cannot understand their vanity, motivation, and single-mindedness for the mundane. For the pilot, his encounter with the prince makes him stop and take a moment to look into the child which remains in his soul, and he returns to his own time and place all the better for it.
Cast members Kip Johnson (Pilot), Andrew Gardiner (Fox and Geographer), Faith Prendergast (Prince) and Donna Leonard (Garden, Businessman, Snake and King) are all charismatic performers, with Prendergast in particular catching the character of a boy in thrall to the wonders of the world he encounters. The choreography is charming and the prop work with balloons, a singing rose, and spheres which act as volcanos is simple but extremely effective.
Silvestrini’s adaptation stays true to the book while making it more accessible in both story and dance elements. This production is on tour in 2020, and you can find out more by following @proteindance on Twitter or visiting their website.
Photo credits Chris Nash.
LouReviews chose to purchase a ticket to the final day of London performances.