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Family-friendly concert performance by Nick Lloyd Webber and James D Reid, conducted by Simon Lee makes its Arab world debut at the Abu Dhabi Festival

Riwaq Al Fikr 2016 24th Apr 2016

The Little Prince spellbinds audience with captivating tale narrated live by Hugh Grant

Narrating one of the most cherished books of all time, Hugh Grant, the renowned British actor, took to the Abu Dhabi Festival stage last night for the Arab world debut of Nick Lloyd Webber and James D Reid’s immersive concert version of their musical The Little Prince. Celebrating France as this year’s Festival ‘Country of Honour’, the orchestral performance of the French literary classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry tells the story of a lost pilot who crashes in the middle of the desert where he encounters a young prince from a distant asteroid, who tells him a story of life among the stars.

Brought to spectacular life by the 40-strong, award-winning Heritage Orchestra, together with an outstanding company of 13 principal singers and chorus, and conducted by the acclaimed music director Simon Lee, the magical performance delighted both young and old with its fantastical tale and wonderful array of magical characters.

As part of Abu Dhabi Festival’s ‘Festival In Focus’ initiative which invites school pupils and university students to the Emirates Palace Auditorium to attend open rehearsals, Nick Lloyd Webber and James D Reid yesterday invited students to go behind the scenes of The Little Prince to meet them and the show’s technical director to find out what it takes to create a production of this complexity and calibre.

Running until 30 April 2016, upcoming Abu Dhabi Festival headline performances include the second performance of The Little Prince (22 April), and Carlos Acosta and Friends (25-26 April). The 2016 Festival will also see the return of the much-acclaimed Festival Recital Series featuring the Joey Alexander Trio (27 April) and the Alfredo Rodríguez Trio (28 April) at New York University Abu Dhabi Arts Center.