A classic twist
After 10 years of staging a solo on iconic French novella The Little Prince, theatre artiste Rashi Bunny attempts to deliver the same experience through a dramatised reading
"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." In a single sentence, French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry captured the essence of his 1943 novella, The Little Prince. As evident by the million copies sold worldwide, it’s hard not to keep returning to the story of a pilot stranded in a desert, woken up by a little prince, once you’ve read it — irrespective of whether you’re a child or an adult. So, when city-based theatre artiste Rashi Bunny was invited for a talk at Kitab Khana in February and a parent asked her a question related to addressing young people through the arts, she simply got up and enacted a scene from the classic, which instantly got people curious.
But this wasn’t the first time she was performing something related to the work. Ten years ago, she had staged a solo performance on The Little Prince. Bunny’s ultimate goal, though, has been to get people to pick up the book after watching her show. Thus, she embarked on another initiative and wrote a script for an artistic reading performance that will be staged for the first time at the Alliance Française Auditorium today."I’ve been conducting experiential workshops for the past 25 years and have gifted people over 100 copies of the book. I believe that it transcends the barriers of space and time and has been written with tenderness. It is ideal for grown-ups because I think we’ve forgotten the child within," she says.
Since the language in the book can be difficult to understand, Bunny has tried to make it palatable by making it bilingual — in Hindi and English. In addition to scriptwriting, she has also designed the production, working on the props herself. Summing up her biggest challenge, the actor adds,"The magic of movement isn’t there and it’s very difficult for me to just sit and read sometimes. But this is a one-hour experience and we’re going to have more shows coming up every month."
ON Today, 6.30 pm
AT Alliance Française Auditorium, Theosophy Hall, New Marine Lines, Churchgate.
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