Lastega ja lastele

Auhinnaga „Lastega ja lastele“ täname ja tunnustame inimesi ja organisatsioone, kelle uued algatused või pikemaajaline tegevus on positiivselt mõjutanud laste ja perede käekäiku.
Tunnustusauhinna taotluste voor on avatud 15. aprillini.

Esita taotlus

You need to think with your heart!

During the first weekend in February, children from shelters and substitute homes all over Estonia visited NUKU theatre’s brand new performance of “The Little Prince”. After the performance they went to the puppetry museum, met the actors backstage and got to be a part of the birth of theatre magic in the back rooms of the interesting building.

Does this prince have a castle and a crown?

Many families recalled the events of “The Little Prince” from the animated movie or by looking through Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book. Even children who do not speak Estonian were well acquainted with the story and its characters and excited for the performance.

Children, who had not read the book or had not even heard of it, were curious if this prince has a castle and a crown as well. Girls were hoping that if there is a prince, then maybe the fairy tale land would also have a princess with a beautiful dress on the stage.

One family’s educator, for whom “The Little Prince” was one of their favourite childhood books, said in their feedback that answering the children’s questions was a fun past time activity, since the inquiries – one smarter than the other – demanded long and thorough answers.

Some families from further away arrived in the capital early, so there was some free time before the performance. This meant a nice free schedule in Tallinn’s Old Town – they walked around, took pictures and admired the medieval buildings. The accompanying educator got to try the role of a guide and she was very happy with her little “tourists”: the children were well-behaved and sweetly curious.

A story about friendship and love - for – 7-103-year-olds

Then it was time to find the theatre’s door and get the spirit ready. The following can be read about the performance from NUKU’s home page: “When the pilot, who made an emergency landing in the desert, was still a child, he drew a picture of a boa digesting an elephant, but all the adults thought that this was a drawing of a hat. After that he gave up on drawing, until he met the Little Prince – a boy with golden hair, a yellow scarf and a loveable laugh, who had the odd habit of not answering questions. The Little Prince asked him to draw a sheep, and this is how their friendship started...”

“The Little Prince” is a story about friendship and love, which is meant for 7-103-year-olds. A 100-year-old would indeed enjoy the performance, but it is not easy for the little ones to understand everything. The theatre’s enchanting and magical atmosphere, costumes, music, and of course the characters created by the actors, helped to fill the voids of understanding, so they also got an experience.

The first act was a little frightening and incomprehensible to the younger ones, because it had a lot of darkness, loud noises and odd-looking characters. It was funny how the lamplighter turned on the lamp and said “Good morning” or “Good evening”. One 5-year-old boy was captivatingly and resonantly laughing at this throughout the performance.

The Little Prince – familiar, safe and good-hearted

Children were impressed by the plane, which seemed so “real”. They were discussing if the plane really fell down and why the whole floor was suddenly filled with papers. Some said that they would not dare to fly with a plane that high...

The character of the Little Prince was liked the most, since he was familiar from animated movies and from the book. He was fun and laughed a lot, but at the same time he was good-hearted and cared about everyone. The Fox was also memorable, who said that you have to think with your heart – and of course the stunning Rose – even though she was sometimes a bit...tetchy. The clown did funny things and the drunkard got a stomach ache from drinking...

The visual side of the performance was also eye-catching: the movement of the heavenly bodies and starry sky projected to the back wall of the stage, the plane crash that took place in the beginning of the performance and the ending, when the plane started up again.

The performance was interesting and instructive for bigger as well as for smaller spectators. One of the educators said that by observing the children from the side, she noticed that they were completely lost in the performance. The body language of the children showed great interest: if the children were laughing, they were laughing whole-heartedly, if they were worried about their favourite characters, they did it with the entire goodness of their soul. If they were frightened they covered their eyes with their hands and peeked through their fingers.

Adults do not want to remember their childhood...

During later conversations the children noted important parts of the performance. For example, they comprehended the sadness in the saying that some adults do not want to remember their childhood. They did not like it when the clown hit the Little Prince with his leg.

13-year-old Rainer said: “I liked how the Little Prince drew into the air and it was JUST in the air. How is this done? I liked to walk in Tallinn’s Old Town; different people and a lot more people...”

14-year-old Ermo, who is otherwise silent and reserved, surprised his educator with his sharp wit: “I understood the theatre. The Little Prince drew, but nobody understood what he was drawing. Only the Fox understood...I think that is how it was.”

Raimo: “This day made me tired, but the train ride was cool! In the performance, I liked the drawing into the air.”

Martin, who is a gearhead, was later repeating in a lively manner the robotic “Good morning, good evening” sentence of the lamplighter-looking lantern igniter and imitated the up and down pulling of the bar, which was on the man’s chest.

Vampire with cool teeth and wooden doll riddled by the crocodile

After the performance, the children were able to visit the interesting backstage area of the puppetry theatre with a guide, a place that regular visitors are unable to access every day. There were funny stairs, which had zig-zag paths – it was fun! Children got to try and play with the big puppets – it was fun to test them and see how they start to move. The guide showed the children a vampire, whose teeth were bleakly cool. One of the wooden dolls was bitten by a crocodile, which had left teeth marks on its nose.

It was possible to try how it feels to be an actor in the actors’ wardrobe – sit in front of the mirror and become someone else. The children got to try wigs, ears, noses and costumes, which are a part of the real wardrobe table. It was especially interesting to try the costumes of the performers. The children got to experience, see, touch, ask and talk themselves a lot and take a lot of photos. The children also got the autographs of the actors to the program. It was nice that it was possible to see the actors of the performance up close! Every family also received a copy of “The Little Prince” book.

In the carpentry workshop it was possible to see how the decorations are made; in the puppet workshop it was possible to gaze at the construction of the puppets. Excitement was created by the food props, which seemed very real when sitting in the audience, but after touching them it became clear that the appetizing sandwiches, apples, grapes were actually made of polyurethane foam. The smallest child of one of the families rolled a cinnamon bun and put it in the oven to bake... They did not want to come out of the museum’s house of horrors at all.

Bigger children were especially touched by this story; it was apparent from their behaviour. They were quieter and more pensive after the performance. Quite a few families picked up “The Little Prince” book again at the end of the day to cheer his adventures once more.


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