‘The Prince and the Rose’ musical

Performed twice in Italy in 1998 and also in 1999, this original musical by Peter Dulborough and Ann Davies is now being revised for new audiences.

‘The Prince and the Rose’ is an original musical in English and written by Peter Dulborough (songs and music) and Ann Davies (script). It was first performed at the Shalom Theatre in Empoli, near Florence in May 1998, and then revised and put on stage a year later in 1999 in the library of ‘The British Insitute of Florence’.

The musical was freely adapted from “The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint Exupery and was set in contemporary London. It was performed in aid of charity with a total of 24 songs and instrumental pieces scored for piano, flute, clarinet, cello and guitars.

The Little Prince is one of the most loved books published in the last 50 years. However, it is not so much a story for children as a wonderfully subtle, wry and also profound account of the complexities of human relationships and emotions. It touches such universal themes as loneliness and alienation and as well as the nature of friendship and love.

The bizarre and bewildering encounters the Prince has with a power obsessed King, unhappy drunk, self centred conceited man, pompous Geographer and contorted thinking Businessman are all meetings that portray characters who are familiar to our contemporary world. They seem fictional characters but are not far removed from our own society. They are parodies of certain human traits and of the strangeness of human behaviour as seen from a neutral observer.

The musical was a freely adapted version and set in contemporary urban surroundings and focused on two parallel stories. The first was between the relationship between the naïve, inexperienced and rather confused Prince and his touchy, demanding and sensitive Rose. The second was the story of the Narrator and the theme of the ‘child inside the man’ which was drawn out through the relationship between the busy ‘office dweller Narrator’ (the pilot in the book) and the inquisitive and spontaneous boy he meets on a London park bench who recounts his strange story of a life on another planet and his decision to leave it in search of other life and worlds.

The central theme of friendship and need for gradual taming and growth in intimacy lies at the heart of this story and our production. The belief in a gradual trust that develops between two people and the growth of a unique and special relationship with someone whom we ‘tame’ and to whom we then become ‘responsible’. This theme is portrayed through the encounter between the Fox and the Prince. ‘We are responsible for those we love’ is the message of the central passages and also the truth that ‘ it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye’.