Kim Carpenter. The Happy Prince
Time Out says
Go Wilde with this whimsical water colour show exploring the beloved children's story
Sometimes even the darkest fairy tales shine a bright ray of light on life. That’s true of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, which depict a burning love between a golden statue and a little swallow that’s doomed, but somehow leaves us with hope nonetheless.
It’s a story that’s captivated audiences all over the globe, across centuries, including revered theatre-maker Kim Carpenter. An inspired director and designer, he presented The Happy Prince at the Sydney Theatre Company in 1992 under the auspices of his former company Theatre of Image. And this year a sumptuous new production by the Australian Ballet sprung from a collaboration between Carpenter and celebrated choreographer Graeme Murphy. Sadly, after opening at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Lyric Theatre in February, the Global Party Pooper put paid to a planned national tour, including an appearance at the Sydney Opera House.
But just as Wilde's story endures, Carpenter has snatched an ember of hope from the ashes. Summoning up a series of whimsical watercolours inspired by his production work, he’ll present them as part of new exhibition Kim Carpenter. The Happy Prince. It will open at Darlinghurst’s Aro Gallery on October 13, just in time for Wilde’s birthday three days later, and it will run until the 25th.
“It has been a joy to harness all my visual references from Wilde’s book and the process of creating and designing the ballet in order to reinvent them, so as to tell the story in a purely visual form,” Carpenter says. “So the lockdown has allowed me an absorbing, driven, creative period.”
What better way to celebrate the beloved children’s story than losing yourself in Carpenter’s swirling vision of love against all the odds?
Want more Wilde? Be haunted by The Picture of Dorian Gray at STC.