Last Updated on 9th December 2019
Mark Ludmon reviews The Little Prince at Omnibus Theatre in London
The Little Prince
Omnibus Theatre, London
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The story of The Little Prince has charmed children and adults for nearly 80 years with its endearing messages about friendship and empathy. As it is the season of goodwill, Omnibus Theatre is staging a new adaptation by Sally Pomme Clayton aimed at children but with plenty to delight grown-ups too.
Directed by Marie McCarthy, it initially sticks closely to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s original book, framed around a pilot who crash-lands in the desert and finds himself alone apart from a strange young man who claims to be visiting Earth from his home on asteroid B612. The show then bursts into life as the Little Prince starts to tell the story of how he got there.
With Comfort Fabian wide-eyed and innocent in the title role, we meet a host of glorious extraterrestrial characters played by the other two members of the cast. Royce Cronin is particularly fabulous as the floral “legendary Rose”, a bearded vision in red and green-trimmed tutu, sparkly black top and shimmering green cape, whose petulant demands send the Little Prince on his travels to discover the meaning of friendship. Vera Chok especially stands out as the fox who hungrily eyes up the children in the audience in search of chickens to befriend and eat.
In its uniquely quirky and imaginative way, the story explores the nature of friendship as well as the need to look after your planet and not to judge on appearances. But it also features lots of silliness, jokes and interaction to entertain the children, alongside beautiful effects conjuring up the starlit universe under designer Sophia Pardon, lighting designer Rachel Sampley and sound designer Jon McLeod. Recommended for ages “four to 104”, the show was given the thumbs-up by my two companions, aged eight and 11, who both left the theatre with wide smiles on their faces.
Running to 30 December 2019