The classic tale of Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which this production is based on, is a wonderful children’s adventure that has stood the test of time and had many favorable adaptations, Asylon Theatre and Marta Mari’s version however is not one of them.
Bewitched by this story as a child and grown up I was very much looking forward to seeing what delight the French Institute promised to offer. From the outset all looked well, a sizable audience, colourful, inventive costume and some pretty decent production values, with a large screen and projection backdrop.
In this version a young prince who grows weary of his chores on a small planet, decides to leave his beloved rose and venture all over the universe. He goes to see all the wonderful and exuberant treats that await him and to see if the grass is greener. Along the way he meets an array of vivid characters, each teaching him a valid lesson until he ultimately realises there is no place like home.
This production in itself is very colourful and eye catching and would delight any child’s eye and the story is strong, but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. When invited to a children’s show I expected to see lots of interaction with the children and hear lots of noises of delight and excitement of which there were none.
As much as the story was touching and there were moments with good lessons and values, I didn’t think The Little Prince achieved very much. The three strong cast followed the static direction well and delivered each character to the letter, but I felt most of characterizations came from the costumes and not the actors, which was a shame as these characters are magnificent, playful, fun and deserve the greatest portrayal.
Credit must go out to Emily-Rose Conlon for her original music contribution and performance, but I wish she was given the chance to create more of her melodic and bright acoustic songs, her incorporation into the story would also have been a big plus. Adventures of the Little Prince is an ok show but nothing to write to Pluto about.