A play on the classic Le Petit Prince hits Madinat Jumeirah

Virgil Tanase, producer of Le Petit Prince.
What better way for a French theatre production to make its debut in Dubai than with a classic story that most speakers of the language are familiar with.

Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is an endearing tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that shows how the title character learns from the different worlds and people he meets after leaving his small planet.

Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News
Actors Carla Subovici (left) and Tom Renault.
Virgil Tanase has directed the production that plays in Dubai on Saturday.

With a cast of three that includes two 9-year-old children, Tanase is convinced that the universal appeal of the story will make it a success here.

Entertaining for all

"For sure, the fact that the performance is in French will be more attractive to French-speakers, but it's not excessive on dialogue and the other elements of the production will make it an entertaining experience for anyone that watches it," Tanase said.

An earlier production of Tanase's that toured Russia showed him that given the key elements of action, music, lights and other stage gimmicks, language can overcome cultural barriers.

"A little understanding helps, but the choice of production is one that has been translated into many languages," he said.

Though considered a children's story, Le Petit Prince has often been written of as having a far more profound meaning with riddles and metaphors.

"It is a story that has always crossed generations and the production stays true to that. Even the music that is used is not used to illustrate but only to enhance as and when required," he said.

Directing the two children for the first time, Tanase said with a laugh, that in his experiences as a director he found grown-ups to be more childish than children.

Challenge of theatre

"These two [Tom Renault playing the Little Prince and Carla Vladya Subovici playing the Rose] have previous experience in small films, but it's their debut on stage."

Both Renault and Subovici admitted they were a bit nervous about their theatre debut. But they did a splendid job of hiding any anxiety.

"It's different from films as there is no second chance," said Renault, who has considered acting as a future career, but is still undecided.

Though the children are missing school for a week, they are looking forward to the experience of performing in a new country.

"I've learnt quite a bit of acting from Tom, especially controlling an exaggerated performance. I think he has a bright future," Subovici said.