‘The Happy Prince – A New Musical is a heart-rending story about a Swallow’s faithful love for the golden statue of a Prince is told through a seamless fusion of dance and song.
This modern musical adaptation is set in an unpleasant 1920’s Laundry House from which the potent technicolour world of the fairy tale evolves. Dark humour, greed and corruption are at work as the malevolent designs of a despot Mayor drive a town into bankruptcy and ruin. Drawing parallels to the world today, walls are being built to divide societies, so the Statue of a Prince, trapped behind the walls of his own palace, must win over the heart of a Swallow to save his people.
Although outwardly beautiful, the omniscient Prince is troubled by the poverty and suffering surrounding him. He persuades the Swallow to become his messenger and distribute his treasures to the townspeople who are most in need. In a race against time, and as the Swallow gradually removes his sapphire eyes and his gold leaf, outwardly the statue looks dull and shabby but the Prince is inwardly renewed and freed of his torment’.
Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s classic fairytale, ‘The Happy Prince – A New Musical’ will be presented in three showcase performances at The Place Theatre, London, this May.
With music, lyrics and direction by singer and composer Hal Cazalet,the musical will star iconic actor Phil Daniels (Eastenders, New Tricks, Poirot, Endeavour) as The Mayor, award-winning actress, singer and musical theatre performer Janie Dee (Comic Potential, Carousel) as Mrs Bentley, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company member Sophia Hurdley (Cinderella, The Phantom of the Opera) as The Swallow and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company member Sam Archer as The Prince (Wise Children).
Further casting will include David Burt, Louis Gaunt, Sammy Graham, Jessica Pardoe, Edwin Ray, Ronald Samm, Cilla Silvia, Gemma Wardle and Alfie Wickham.
The creative team will feature Michael Barry (Book and Movement Director), David Howe (Lighting), Sophia Hurdley (Choreography) and Sam Archer (Choreography). The original workshop for the production was developed alongside Maria Friedman and Drew McOnie. The musical is presented by Wilde Theatre Productions.
Making his directing debut with these three performances, Haz Cazalet said: “The Happy Prince is a fairy tale for today and as Oscar Wilde intended, for both adults and children alike. I can’t help but feel that the Wildean themes of greed and corruption set against the redeeming power of love and sacrifice are every bit as relevant and urgent in our present world, as when Wilde wrote the story in 1888”.
‘The Happy Prince – A New Musical’ will run at The Place Theatre on May 3rd and 4th 2019.