5 reasons you need to see The Happy Prince

Posted on 30 September 2019 By Rose Mulready

Take Oscar Wilde's funny, sad, poetic story The Happy Prince, add Graeme Murphy's unique choreographic vision, frame it in Kim Carpenter's vibrant design and wait for the magic to happen. The world premiere of this all-Australian production will kick off our 2020 season: here are five reasons why you'll want to catch it.


The Happy Prince is made specifically for children, with all the appealing brightness of design and storytelling that implies. But as with Wilde's story, there are so many layers that adults can enjoy, a host of sly references that give the story contemporary relevance and added impact.

Design for The Happy Prince by Kim Carpenter


Wilde's vivid, visual writing almost dances off the page. You can see the glittering Prince, the swaying Reed, the impudent Swallow. These characters and images are ripe for transformation on the ballet stage, and seeing them realised through Murphy's unique vision will be one of the great pleasures of the production.

Design for The Happy Prince by Kim Carpenter


In 2018, we celebrated the brilliant 50-year career of this dance legend, who gave us such gems of our repertoire as Swan Lake, Nutcracker - The Story of Clara and Beyond Twelve. Murphy's humour, invention, sensuality and bravery turn everything he makes into gold.

Graeme Murphy. Photography Kate Longley


The artist and director Kim Carpenter has envisaged The Happy Prince in vivid, lively colour, as this sketch for the Reed in her Erté-worthy show girl's costume shows.

Design for The Happy Prince by Kim Carpenter


Murphy will offer some delightful surprises in his interpretation of Wilde's characters. A punk Swallow on a skateboard is only the beginning ...

Design for The Happy Prince by Kim Carpenter