City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Little Prince Review


By Irene Brown - Posted on 03 August 2011

Little Prince
3
Show details
Venue: 
C soco
Company: 
Oxford University Dramatic Society
Running time: 
75mins
Production: 
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (writer), Theodore Merz (translator and adaptor),Rafaella Marcus (director), Jack Peters (producer), Rachel Beaconsfield (designer), George Harding (technical)
Performers: 
Lucy Fyffe (Little Prince), Ziad Samaha (Pilot), Jessica Norman (Rose/The Rose), Jordan Walker (James/The King), Lloyd Houston (George/Businessman), Mary Flanigan (Margaret/Drunk), Rachel Bull (Susan/Lamplighter/Fox), Alex Jeffrey (William/Geographer/Snake)

Making one’s way to Studio 2a at C Soco was like being in a scene from Flann O’ Brien’s book, The Third Policeman, where said officer had a private station in the walls of a building to save on the rates. You have to climb forgotten stairs, pass by walls saddened with the want of repair, creep along created corridors till you reach the almost secret performance space high in the building.

There was noise and chaos and lots of Dennis Potter style running around by adults as dressed up as children of the 1940s - all teddies and tennis racquets – as the theatre space was entered.

The stage that was circled with cushions, odd chairs and settees so the action was close but not intrusive. The play itself started seamlessly to the aptly chosen song Nature Boy, a tale of a ‘...very strange enchanted boy...’, when the Pilot, played assuredly by Ziad Samaha, stands up and enlists the children’s help to tell the tale of a crash he’d had 6 years earlier in the Sahara desert where he meet the Little Prince.

While this is a children’s story, it is not a simple one. It is quite deeply philosophical looking at the controversial concept of taming as loving. Its message is reached through the persistent innocent and questioning by the strange Little Prince from a distant planet who has left behind the one thing he really loved and cared for, his rose. Again, the music is well chosen with Piaf’s La Vie en Rose featuring throughout the piece.

The story concludes that, “It is only with the heart we can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye” – a simple message within a complex tale that seems to get to its laudable conclusion by a convoluted route. That is no criticism of this performance. It is not a straightforward text to put on stage so full marks to this young company for tackling such an ambitious project with simple costumes and props that they use to great effect, like the curly walking stick that becomes a snake in the hands of Alex Jeffrey.

This young and talented cast gave committed, engaged and intelligent performances all round, not dropping their roles for a moment. This is worth seeing but is more suitable for adults and older children of over 8 – very young children may not engage with it so well.

Show times

4-29 August, 15:45

Tickets

£6.50 - £9.50