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Niamh Perry is the Little Prince

Niamh Perry will star in the Little Prince at the Lyric Theatre

Niamh Perry will star in the Little Prince at the Lyric Theatre

  • by Joanne Savage
 

SHE wowed audiences and none other than Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber in the television talent show I’d Do Anything, has recently graced the West End in Love Never Dies and Mamma Mia, and now the Bangor-born actress and singer is headed for the Lyric Theatre.

Perry will play the lead role in this musical adaptation of the French children’s classic the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

It is a deceptively simple and yet profound story about friendship and wisdom which follows a pilot who crashes in the desert and encounters an apparently wide-eyed little prince on a lonely planet.

It became an instant classic on publication in 1943, has been translated into 180 languages and sells over a million copies a year.

“The story appeals to everyone,” says Niamh, 21, who is well into rehearsals.

“It’s much more than a children’s story - it’s about life lessons.

“It’s about the things you come up against in life that can make you take the wrong path and it’s a piece of theatre that makes you think and wonder.

“Everyone can find something to relate to in this story.”

This is a musical adaptation written by Andrew Lloyd Weber’s son Nicholas and James D Reid. (Nicholas must find it difficult trying to come out from under the weight of his famous father’s gargantuan reputation as a composer, yet this is bound to help him get work too).

The show features no dialogue and is made up of a solid hour and three quarters of music sourced from a variety of genres and periods.

The little prince is found on a lonely asteroid scarely bigger then himself, where there are three volcanoes and a haughty rose, a fox and a snake. He is in need of friendship. Then the pilot arrives. And it’s all told through song and original, joyful, and sometimes plaintive music.

Niamh Perry is delighted with her role. And this is quality endorsement: Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber specially cast her in his 2010 musical Love Never Dies - a sequel to the Phantom of the Opera, and he once described Perry as “wonderful” on the Jonathan Ross show.

“Realising that the part was written for me was amazing, a real confidence boost. It was pressure but also such a thrill.”

But now Niamh, a graduate of Music Theatre for Youth, has her focus on the challenge of this new role, which has its own demands.

“It is a thoroughly modern musical with lots of variety,” says artistic director of the Lyric Richard Croxford.

“It will be sung right through from beginning to end by a hugely talented cast of eight actors with a beautiful blend of voices.

“The music is a delight to listen to on its own and fans of the Little Prince won’t be disappointed with this new translation from the original French.”

The Little Prince runs on the Northern Bank Stage at the Lyric Theatre from December 1, 2011 until January 15, 2012. For more information visit www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or call the box office on (028) 9038 1081.

 
 
 

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