ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 40
Kandy Times

Magical tale of a lovable Prince comes alive

The Little Prince, a monodrama translated, scripted and presented by Mark Amerasinghe of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 'Le Petit Prince' [Gallimard] will be at the Alliance française de Kandy on Friday, March 16 at 6.30 p.m. (duration : 75 mts).

The Little Prince's beloved rose claimed, with pride, that she was 'born at the same time as the sun' "Et je suis née en même temps que le soleil". Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, fondly referred to by his brothers and sisters, as 'the sun king', "le roi soleil", saw the first light of day on June 29, 1900, six months after the birth of the 20th Century.

In France at least, he is considered a celebrity of that century. The restless, imaginative child grew up to be one of the most adventurous, most admired aviation pioneers of that epoch and one of France's greatly loved literary figures.

In 1930, Saint- Exupéry met the vivacious, seductive young Salvadorian-born beauty Consuelo, who became his wife and with whom he had a tempestuous, passionate and dramatically make-and-break love affair, described vividly by Consuelo herself in her hidden away story, 'The Tale of the Rose', published for the first time in 1999, 20 years after her death, when the manuscript was first unearthed from a stored away trunk. After the publication of this book, it is believed that Consuelo was, 'his muse, the inspiration for the Little Prince's beloved rose….'

In 1944, this fighter for Free France was reported missing together with his plane, somewhere over the Mediterranean, believed to have been shot down by the Germans.

His best-loved work, 'The Little Prince', "Le Petit Prince" was published in 1944.

Mark Amerasinghe presents this magical tale as a monodrama scripted from his own translation of the original work together with slides of the author's own water colours that appear in the text. Six years ago Valentine Basnayake and Mark Amerasinghe made a joint presentation of the Little Prince in the form of a dramatized narration of extracts from Katherine Wood's English translation, together with excerpts from the music of Fauré with Valentine Basnayake at the piano, and illustrations from the text.

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