arts, What's On

Midsumma Review: The Happy Prince

Many are already familiar with the sweet but sad story of Oscar Wilde’s Happy Prince. A beautifully adorned statue stands high over a city, eyes of sapphires, skin of gold leaf and a ruby in his dagger, saddened by the injustice of life as a poor citizen in a Victorian era.

A young swallow, bound for the warmer climate to avoid the impending winter chill is separated from his flock and takes temporary shelter within the golden folds of the Prince’s cloak. The two become inseparable companions and over several nights the Prince teaches the Swallow the meaning of true happiness, all the while the two slowly make the ultimate sacrifice, and join each other in eternity through death.

Heavy right?

Originally penned as a children’s tale, Little Ones Theatre reimagines this classic tale for the adult audience, turning the traditional male roles into strong female characters who take companionship further into the realms of love between two women.

The fresh approach to the original story aligns perfectly with the theatre company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of gender and queer aesthetics, and makes for brilliant, thoughtful entertainment during this Midsumma season.

Set amongst the packed out, highly intimate La Mama theatre, it was easy as an audience member to feel as though you were a part of the story. The chemistry between the two characters was evident, and the new evolution of the story flowed beautifully, the addition of modern and cheeky references and jokes were well timed and easy to interpret.

Janine Watson as the Prince, portrayed the character with poised grace and sad beauty, which was a perfectly matched contrast to Catherine Davies sassy, modern hipster Swallow.

A sweet, quirky interpretation of a classic Oscar Wilde piece, tickets are only $25 each and it’s located right near Lygon Street’s dining precinct, a perfect night out.

Image Credit: Pia Johnson

Where: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
When: Until 29 January 2017
More information: Check out the Midsumma website.