An adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic French fable, The Little Prince comes to the Durban University of Technology’s Courtyard Theatre for a short run from 1 – 3 November as part of an extensive national tour honouring the story’s 75th anniversary.
Presented by Alliance Francaise de Durban and directed by Clara Vaughan and Mwenya B. Kabwe, The Little Prince will be a magical re-telling of the story using an innovative and playful fusion of art forms – storytelling, music and circus – in multiple languages, creating a unique South African inspired production of this French masterpiece, for adults and children alike.
The Little Prince follows on from the great success and critical acclaim of last year’s touring production of Molière’s Tartuffe last May.
First published in April 1943, The Little Prince is a novella, the most famous work of French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. Though ostensibly styled as a children’s book, The Little Prince makes several observations about life and human nature. It is considered a metaphor of a grown-up meeting his inner child. It is a philosophical contemplation of loneliness, friendship, adulthood and authority.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s world famous and timeless classic book celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The book, both written and charmingly illustrated by de Saint-Exupéry, is brought to life in an exciting production created with the additional support of Mazars reinforces a fruitful collaboration between the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Market Theatre Foundation.
Originally written in French, The Little Prince is the world’s most translated book, outside of religious works. It is translated in 300 languages including English, Zulu, Afrikaans and Xhosa. 200 million books have been sold and the story has been enjoyed by 400 million readers.
The Little Prince is being performed by the Market Theatre Foundation’s brand-new theatre company, Kwasha! and premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July. It has also had a run in Bloemfontein at the Vrystaat Arts Festival, and comes to Sasolburg prior to coming to Durban. The tour wraps up at the Ramloao Makhene Theatre at the Market in Johannesburg in November.
Set and Costume Design of The Little Prince is by Wilhelm Disbergen; lighting design by Sibusiso David Ndumndum; choreography by Daniel Buckland and sound design by João Orecchia.
The production is supported by IFAS, the cultural agency of the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa; The Market Theatre Foundation and Mazars, an international, integrated and independent organisation, specializing in audit, accounting, tax and advisory services. The KZN Performing Arts Trust helped to bring the production to Durban.
Performances are scheduled as follows: Thursday 1 November at 7pm; Friday 2 November at 10am for schools; Saturday 3 November at 10am and 7pm. Tickets are R80 for the public; R60 for Alliance Francaise de Durban members and OAPs; and R40 for scholars and students with student ID. Advance booking is open for the Durban season through Computicket outlets; telephonic bookings on 0861 915 8000, and online bookings at www.computicket.com, or Alliance Francaise de Durban on tel 031 312 9582. Block bookings for the 10am Friday 2 November schools performance also through the Alliance Francaise.
Pictured: Balindile Ka Ngcobo and Khanyisile Ngwabe.