The Inner Child: A Review of Prinsipe Munti
Article and Photos By Patricia Simone Dauz
To appreciate this play fully, you must throw away every expectation or interpretation you have of the original version, because, like the fox said: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
In psychology, the term inner child refers to our state of being when we were literally children. It is a time when innocence ruled over our ego, and we are fragile yet very open. In Tanghalang Pilipino’s restaging of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the one-act lay presented the novella in a different light as it focused on the love story between the protagonist and his unique rose.
When one looks at the context of the original material, Exupery wrote it in a time of quasi-exile, likened to being in the bottom of the well and seeing the light emanating from the top of it, with hope to rise again. In Prinsipe Munti, the play didn’t start from perspective of the narrator left behind by his friend from another planet after having helped him realize how he must actually look for a well to avoid getting stuck.
The narrative began on the prince’s home planet (suspected to be B-612 in the novella) which is unnamed in this stage version. On this planet, Munti (Noel Comia) has a very close relationship with his rose. There are no labels what type of love they have but it was very clear that they have deep feelings for one another. Then, after the jealousy of Rosas 1 (Queen MIA) over Higad (Lhorvie Nuevo) having turned into a beautiful butterfly, which fascinated Munti, she overtly displayed her resent, causing Munti to conclude that he does not understand her anymore. The rose admitted she loved the prince but he just replied, “Sana sinabi mo yan nung nagkakaintindihan tayo.” He then went off to broaden his perspective, in hopes of finally bringing his relationship with his rose to what it was before.
One of the most touching songs (there were only three) in the play was Bakit Pa Kita Iniwan? performed by the prince himself. For this writer, it pretty much summed up what this play is about, how in life, we desire something, and that desire leads us to a search, only to find out that it doesn’t matter how many sights we get to see, but what matters is the perspective which we use to see it.
The utilization of shadow play is very effective in supporting the action of the play, particularly in the beginning when the prince covers and uncovers his rose, as well as when the the prince is taming the fox (Alamid in this version, played by Jonathan Tadioan). It’s also amazing how five of the actors played multiple characters which had really unique nuances. Standout performances for those who played two characters were from JV Ibesate (Taga-mandongTren/Lasenggo) and Marco Viaña (Piloto/Geographer).
The play is directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio and the stage adaptation was written by Layeta Bucoy. It has a limited run at the CCP Tanghalang Batute until today, December 13. For tickets, you may call Ticketworld at 891-9999.