The Happy Prince

By Oscar Wilde

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“High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.”

When he was alive the Happy Prince lived in a wonderful castle and wore fine clothes. When he died the people of the town built a statue of him which they covered in gold leaf so that he shone brightly in the sunshine. They gave him precious sapphires for his eyes and a ruby in his sword. It was a very fine statue and was widely admired.

When he was alive the Happy Prince lived in great luxury. Happy he was, indeed, but he never mixed with, nor really knew his people. Now, as a statue, the prince is very tall and from his great height can see into the houses of all his subjects. He sees that they are poor, cold and hungry. He takes pity on their suffering.

One day a swallow comes to land on the statue. This little swallow is lost. His friends have already flown south to Egypt for the winter.  The statue of the Happy Prince persuades him to stay and help the people.

The Happy Prince and the swallow give all they have. The Happy Prince gives the gold leaf and the jewels from his eyes and the ruby from his sword. The swallow gives his life. Once the statue is no longer beautiful, the Mayor and his officials decide to melt it down.

God then asks one of his angels to bring him the two most precious things in the city. The angel brings him the broken heart of the statue and the little dead swallow.

The chance to try new disciplines

This year we decided once again to give our performers the chance to try new disciplines; so we have Oscar Wilde’s moving tale told through animation, dance, drama, percussion and narration. 

We owe many thanks – to King’s School for welcoming us to the Tower, to our funders, our volunteers on and off stage, our sixth formers and Winchester College, St Swithun’s School, Peter Symonds, students from Winchester university, to you, our audience, our technical team and of course to all our performers who make this all so worthwhile.

Peter Clerke
Artistic Director

Cast & Crew

James Benfield - The Happy Prince
Neil White - The Swallow
Anna Brisbane - Narrator
Ros Davies - Narrator
James Elsworthy - Narrator
Katy Francis - Narrator
Tommy Jessop - Narrator
Lawrie Morris - Narrator
Katie Appleford - Seamstress/ Mayor
Ryan Nicholas - Writer         
Lucy Parrott - Match girl     
Shane Nickisson - Overseer        
Chris Pearce - Councillor         
Chinwe Odili - Councillor         
Hannah Lowe - Dancer
Katy Francis - Dancer
Rachel Osborne - Dancer
Coline Cadoret - Dancer
Jocelyn Kirby - Dancer
Andrew Malster - Dancer
Elena Moody - Dancer
Alice Peck - Dancer
Claire Hunt - Dancer
Emma Rabjohn - Dancer
James Elsworthy - Animation
Jason Kidd - Animation
Michelle Pluck - Animation
James Smith - Animation
Ellie Askew - Animation
Holly Crompton - Percussion/ Music
Will Hall - Percussion/ Music
Jamie Allner - Percussion/ Music
Emma Jillings - Percussion/ Music
Jamie Ayre - Percussion/ Music
Jessica Li - Percussion/ Music
Kitty Ma - Percussion/ Music
Tom Bacon - Percussion/ Music
Will Rassmussen - Percussion/ Music
Xavier de la Roche - Percussion/ Music

With special thanks to Daniel Austin, Terry Thompson & Polly Troup

Director - Peter Clerke
Choreographer - Jo Harris
Animation - Nigel Luck
Percussion - Sam Lobb
Additional Drama - Hannah Timms
Wardrobe - Jenni Sundheim
Production Manager - Ben Ward
Hats & Photos - Kate Theodore
Print design - Richard Williams

With thanks to David Wallace



Thursday 6, Friday 7th & Saturday 8 December 2012
The Tower Arts Centre
Romsey Road, Winchester