Wilde Theatre Productions (WTP) has announced that Janie Dee (Mrs Bentley), Phil Daniels (The Mayor), Sophia Hurdley (The Swallow) and Sam Archer (The Prince) will lead a new musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic fairy tale, The Happy Prince, which will be presented in three showcase performances at The Place from 3 to 4 May 2019.
The rest of the cast includes David Burt, Louis Gaunt, Sammy Graham, Jessica Pardoe, Edwin Ray, Ronald Samm, Cilla Silvia, Gemma Wardle and Alfie Wickham.
The Happy Prince has music and lyrics by Hal Cazalet and a book by Michael Barry. Cazalet will direct the showcase performances which will also feature choreography by Sophia Hurdley and Sam Archer, movement direction by Michael Barry, and lighting by David Howe.
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.