A Little Princess, the classic children’s novel by The Secret Garden author Frances Hodgson Burnett, gets a Christmas run at London’s Drayton Arms Theatre, in a brand-new stage version adapted and directed by Rachael Bellis for Rebel Theatre Company. It runs 10 to 22 December 2019 and 2-5 January 2020.
Sara Crewe has everything – wealth, intelligence, kindness and beauty. Sent from her home in India to a boarding school in England, at first, she is doted on by her headmistress Miss Minchin.
But when Sara’s beloved father dies, leaving her penniless, Miss Minchin shows her true colours, forcing Sara to work for her, and live in a rat-infested attic, with little food or comfort. How will Sara survive? Will she be broken or will her kindness and courage triumph?
Frances Hodgson Burnett‘s timeless story examines how courage and goodness can triumph over those who abuse their positions of power. Rebel Theatre Company reimagines the classic tale.
Adaptor and director Rachael Bellis said:
“I have always loved A Little Princess, but I wanted to present the story in a way that makes sense in the modern world. I was also intrigued by Sara’s early years in India, and wanted to bring this to life in our adaptation. A Little Princess is a story that tugs at the heartstrings whether you are six or sixty, and we are delighted to bring it to audiences at the Drayton Arms.”
Catherine Hiscock stars as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess, alongside Jill Stanford (as Miss Minchin), Srabani Sen (Radha), Ellen Kruger (Becky/Jessie), Mimi Tizzano (Ermengarde), Miriam Babooram, Latanya Peterkin and Jaymes Aaron.
Co-founder of newly formed Rebel Theatre Company (with Ellen Kruger), writer, director and actor Rachael Bellis is also the artistic director of Aequitas Theatre, for which she appears this month in the UK premiere of surrogacy two-hander e-baby at Brockley Jack Theatre. Her other directorial credits include Antigone and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich.
British-born American novelist and playwright Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) is best known for three much-loved children’s novels: The Secret Garden (1911), A Little Princess (1905) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885).
A Little Princess began as a short story titled “Sara Crewe: or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s”, first serialised in the periodical St Nicholas Magazine in 1887. When Burnett wrote 1902 play A Little Un-fairy Princess based on the story, her publisher suggested she expand Sara Crewe’s story into a full novel. The resulting novel was published, by Charles Scribners’ Sons, in 1905 with the full title A Little Princess: Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe Now Being Told for the First Time and illustrations by Ethel Franklin Betts.
Like The Secret Garden, A Little Princess has received myriad stage and screen adaptations. These include the Hollywood classic film in 1939 starring Shirley Temple as Sara and Mary Nash as Miss Minchin, and the 1995 film starring Liesel Matthews and Eleanor Bron, which relocated the action to New York City during World War One.
A Little Princess runs from 10 to 22 December 2019 then to 2 to 5 January 2020 at Drayton Arms Theatre, 153 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0LJ with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees Saturday 15 December, Sundays 22 December and 5 January at 3pm. Tickets are priced £14-£16, with family tickets at £48. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!