Heidi Trautmann

545 - The Little Prince – Kücük Prens - 11th Cyprus Theatre Festival


Turkish ‘Bitiyatro’ in cooperation with the German ‘Theater an der Ruhr’ at the 11th Cyprus Theatre Festival


By Heidi Trautmann


“Goodbye”, said the fox. “…and now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

It is about love and friendship, it is about life and death, it is about the essence of our existence. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is an unforgettable book from my childhood and school years when I had to read it in the original language in French and take the text apart into its philosophical details.

In the performance on 21 September at the Atatürk Conference Theatre of the Near East University the Little Prince wasn't portrayed by a little boy but by a grown man who prepares for his last voyage and gets involved into discussions with a young pilot who crashed with his plane where he lay asleep drunk.

In this production Roberto Ciulli, the director and founder of ‘Theater an der Ruhr’ transforms the tale's original sweetness into bitter-sweet lucidity. The play is stripped down to the essentials of the book, its philosophy, also the stage setting with the spot light on a circle in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the symbols; the protagonists… clownesque with pantomimic expressions exaggerating the situation of the reversed game of questions and answers about important things in life. The play, a one-act play, returning to the essence of the theatre, that is acting, creating an atmosphere.

The ‘Theater and der Ruhr’ has travelled with this production around Europe meeting with amazement and delight,  and in Turkey it has found a good partner in the ‘Bitiyatro’ Istanbul with the two wonderful actors Nihat Ileri and Laçin Ceylan in the parts of the pilot and the Little Prince/Old Man.

When I came home after the show, still under the impression of the touching play, I took the little book by St.Exépury from my bookshelves and started reading it, however,  the first evening I did not get further than the dedication the author wrote because it made me think about my life and how I began it.



I ask the indulgence of the children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up. I have a serious reason: he is the best friend I have in the world. I have another reason: this grown-up understands everything, even books about children. I have a third reason: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold. He needs cheering up. If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate the book to the child from whom this grown-up grew. All grown-ups were once children--although few of them remember it. And so I correct my dedication:



If you also want to reread this precious little book, I found a very nice link to the English version with the illustrations by the author.




Nihat Ileri and Laçin Ceylan
Nihat Ileri and Laçin Ceylan

Yasar Ersoy thanking the actors
Yasar Ersoy thanking the actors

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