Dates have been confirmed for the world premiere of a new musical adaptation of Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, which, as previously reported, features music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, the 30-year-old son of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The production, which is adapted and directed by Mick Gordon, will run as part of the reopening season of The Lyric, Belfast, which was announced last week and also features a new adaptation of comedy The Painkiller starring Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon.

The Little Prince will run in the Christmas slot from 1 December 2011 to 15 January 2012. The creative team, which is completed by lyricist James Reid, also collaborated on The Tempest for Oxford Shakespeare Company last summer and most recently on Bea at the Soho Theatre.

Nick Lloyd Webber (above) & director Mick Gordon

Published in 1943, a year before Antoine de Saint-Exupéry died in the Second World War, The Little Prince became an instant classic that has been translated into 180 languages. It tells the story of a pilot crash landing in the desert who encounters a boy from an asteroid who tells him his adventures through the solar system and the characters he has met on the way.

The new stage version will be presented by The Lyric Belfast and new production company Lamplighter Drama, founded by Emma Randle and Charlotte Lloyd Webber (wife of Nick and also founder of Oxford Shakespeare Company). 

Other highlights

Reopening on 1 May 2011 with a gala performance of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the Lyric boasts a new £18.1 million building on the banks of the River Lagan almost three times the size of the original.

Along with The Little Prince and The Painkiller, other highlights of the inaugural season in the main house include Martin Lynch’s Dockers (11 June - 10 July 2011) and family musical The Jungle Book (19 July-14 August 2011).

Opening the Naughton Studio will be the European premiere of Brendan at the Chelsea (21 May-19 June 2011), a bio drama of Irish writer Brendan Behan written by his niece Janet and brought to the stage by Adrian Dunbar, who will direct and lead the cast as Behan.