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The Little Princess | Etcetera Theatre, London

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


This modern reframing of the children's classic brings exciting and recognisable characters to life, so they can address 21st century issues in a timeless and accessible manner. When an Astronaut first crash lands on a tiny planet, all he wants to do is leave. Looking for a way to repair his spaceship, he soon encounters the peculiar inhabitants of this rock in outer space, including the wide-eyed Little Princess, whos best friend is a giant sunflower that grows at the North Pole. When she loses her power to glow, the whole Tiny Planet is suddenly in danger. And it is up to the newly made friends to save the day.


The theatre was well suited to house this piece, with the mildly immersive elements demanded by the script and direction, it would have possibly felt out of place or lost in a bigger venue. One of these moments includes the pre show banter that the cast have while setting the stage, introducing us to the playful nature that the show continues to offer. As a neurodivergent person, this almost acted as a 'relaxed' show for me as it was like meeting the characters and the actors playing them ahead of time. There were no commonly triggering subjects and only one or two moments made me jump - it would be great if these were available as content warnings ahead of time, as well as mentioning the full blackouts that occur.


There are lots of things to enjoy about the production. There is good use of humorous language swaps, nodding to the lack of swear words that you'd expect in a children's show. The ensemble gave incredible enthusiasm throughout, adding heaps of fun into what begins as quite a mellow story. The staging is cleverly designed to acknowledge the limitations of a Fringe piece and encourages the audience to lean into this.


The speedy dialogue paired with the chemistry between the cast demonstrates a well rehearsed show, and is supported by the comfortable adlibbing when it seemed that things didn't go perfectly to plan. The fast pace didn't affect the clarity or flow of the tale, however things did feel a little ingenuine or over anticipated at times (as violence sometimes sprung out of nowhere rather than allowing a build up of tension). I think this could have been resolved with a score underneath the dialogue. This doesn't, however, apply to the eccentricity that came with the actors commitment to character - especially Hannes Knischewski as the professor.


One of the only notes I'd give about the characters is that Ben seemed a little bland in comparison to the others, which may well be on purpose, but came across more like nerves on stage - especially as it was the first performance here. His energy picked up throughout the show which may have been influenced by the intensity of the actors multi-rolling.


A note to any disabled people considering a visit: the space itself is incredibly inaccessible both physically and neurodivergently as its entrance is through a pub. There is also NO information (other than a visual of the auditorium) on the website so I'd email in advance to check that your needs will be met. My full review of the accessibility here can be found on the Euan's Guide here.

It was fast, funny, and relevant. Running at less than an hour, you should definitely find the time to grab a ticket!


AD | gifted ticket in return for an honest review | written by Katie McConnell


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