Physical theatre with an Asian touch based on classic Antoine de Saint-Exupéry tale

Starchild: The Little Prince Reborn

As demonstrated by this likeable, if occasionally meandering, adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s world-famous fable, Shanghai-based ex-pat theatre company Urban Aphrodite International use drama and movement styles derived from influential Japanese theatre-maker Tadashi Suzuki.

At the start, the three robotically floor-stamping actors (plus musician Tom Sharrock) separate out the various props (paper lanterns, sticks, fabric) and costume accessories (hats, masks, fake beard) that they will subsequently use to tell the tale of the titular and peripatetic lad (nicely played by Alex Gomar), who is pining for the precious flower (Awesta Zarif) left behind on his planet.

It is by necessity, given the source (touchingly sweet or achingly twee depending on your point of view), a delicate and simply staged performance leavened by the participation of the robust Barron Weyerhaeuser in a slew of roles. Sharrock’s mainly recorded score is perhaps a tad too samey, so too the cosmic back projections and some of the pseudo-floaty motion.

Also, those unfamiliar with the book might be at a bit of a loss. Still, there are nice things here and an over-all care that serves Saint-Exupéry’s classic well. It’s also suitable for children, although probably not the little ones.

Greenside @ Nicolson Square, 618 6967, until 16 Aug, 12.40pm, £10 (£5).

Starchild: The Little Prince Reborn

  • 3 stars

Urban Aphrodite International is a company based in Shanghai. Starchild: The Little Prince Reborn is an original, universal physical theatre piece based on the incredible travels of The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.