Ebony Bott talks to us about The Little Prince, a French production, which is coming direct to the Sydney Opera House this week. Find out about the show as well as putting on a production during COVID-19 times.
You may also like to read out interviews with
- Anne Tournié, Director of production The Little Prince
- Chris Mouron, the co-director and playwright who adapted The Little Prince from book to stage
Ebony Bott, you’re Head of Contemporary Performance at the Sydney Opera House. Can you tell us a little about that role?
I curate a year round program of live performance events that include a broad range of contemporary art forms such as contemporary dance, music theatre, cabaret, circus, magic and comedy.
There are many artists across the globe creating artistically adventurous and ambitious contemporary productions, I look forward to sharing them with our Sydney Opera House audiences over the next few years.
The Little Prince is coming to the Sydney Opera house from late May. Can you please tell us about the show? What can audiences expect?
The Little Prince is an exquisite production that combines circus and dance with larger than life audio visual projections. The result is a magical experience where audiences are immersed in the Little Prince’s cosmic and fantastic world.
Audiences can expect stunning aerial acrobatics entwined with striking dance and physical movement as they journey through the Little Prince’s whimsical world. It’s truly a visual feast. And very moving!
Is this the original cast from France, India, Poland and Italy or has an Australian cast been selected?
We have the original cast from the Paris production coming to Sydney for this Australian premiere. We are working with some local crew members, but all the performers are travelling from Marseille to Sydney.
Will Sydney Opera House be bringing in the French team for the production? Is it more difficult than usual to acquire visas for artists? (not sure if this is possible at all with the border closure but assume given international actors in Queensland etc that it must be).
Yes, the performers and key creative personnel will be travelling from France.
The season is presented in association with Australian international touring producer Broadway Entertainment Group, led by Liz Koops. Between us all, we have worked through the travel logistics and followed the international travel exemption process as per government guidelines.
On top of the international touring company, the show will engage around 85 Australian workers across different fields inside the arts sector. It’s a show that involves a lot of people!
Who is the show for? Do people need to be familiar with the book?
This show resonates with audiences of all ages – just as the book itself has done so for many years. The world created on stage is beautiful and bold, and the story itself is so poetic and heart-warming. Add in some circus, dance and big wondrous projections, and children and adults alike will be swept away.
Could you please also tell us what the challenges are in bringing a show such as The Little Prince to the Sydney Opera House in COVID-19 times?
Since the Opera House reopened its venues in November 2020 after closing due to COVID-19, we have learnt so much about how to present work in this new landscape. First and foremost, we have to keep everyone safe – audiences, artists and all our SOH staff – as well as plan for every likely scenario. It is challenging, but we’re so lucky that in Australia we’re at the stage in recovery where we can offer these experiences.
Conversely, it must also be exciting/nerve wracking to be putting on the Australian premiere of this show after audiences have been deprived of these sorts of large productions?
It’s very exciting! We’ve had such positive responses from audiences who have come to shows at the Sydney Opera House over the last six months – the audience appetite is definitely there. Now being able to present an Australian premiere of this beautiful production of The Little Prince is very special indeed.
We thank Ebony Bott for this interview.
WHAT: The Petit Prince
WHERE: Sydney Opera House
WHEN: 26 May to 6 June
HOW: Buy your tickets via the website: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/circus-and-magic/2021/the-little-prince.html
HOW MUCH: Tickets cost $89 -$ 149 plus $8.50 booking fee.
Which international stage show would you like to bring to Australia?