This January, as part of a partnership with Newham Council, we offered every Year 6 student in the borough the chance to see Inua Ellams’ stage adaptation of The Little Prince free of charge. Inua Ellams’ fourth show, the critically acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles, sold out at the National Theatre, where his adaptation of Chekov’s Three Sisters, recently opened. The Little Prince, produced by Fuel and directed by Femi Elufowoju jr, is a radical afro-futurist reimagining of the classic French children’s story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The Newham Council Enrichment Programme is a scheme designed to give every year 6 pupil in the borough a free ticket to see a new piece of theatre before they leave primary school. The initiative is now in its seventh year and over 5,500 pupils are expected to attend between 21st January and 7th February 2020. Past productions that students have seen include The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet, Fuel’s The Hartlepool Monkey and Akram Khan’s Chotto Desh. The scheme is particularly valuable in a borough where many young people may not otherwise have access to the arts.
Inua Ellams said “I am delighted that my adaptation of The Little Prince is going to be part of this wonderful scheme. It is important to me that a new generation of theatre goers will be able to experience for free the joy of this wonderful story about the power of belief, the importance of small efforts, and the meaning of friendship. I have reimagined this classic French children’s story The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry and set it into an afro-futurist world, where the central character of the book, a fighter pilot who has broken down in the Sahara desert, meets an extraordinary prince. I hope everyone who sees it will be enthralled by it, in the same way the book has dazzled generations of children and over the years.”
Tania Wilmer, Director of Stratford circus said “We’re really pleased to be working with Newham Council again to offer every Year 6 pupil in the borough the chance to see an original piece of theatre via their Enrichment Programme. Presenting world-class performance that is reflective of and accessed by Newham communities is central to Stratford Circus Arts Centre’s mission and we know that experiencing theatre and the arts at a young age is hugely important. Inua’s take on this classic story is without parallel and I’m sure it will really capture and inspire young imaginations!”