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Welcome to Wollongong’s Home of the Performing Arts

The Peasant Prince

3 - 4 Sep

A true story to spark your aspirations.

Based on the book by Li Cunxin, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas
Adapted for the stage by Eva Di Cesare, Sandie Eldridge and Tim McGarry

The children’s version of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, The Peasant Prince tells a remarkable true story of courage, resilience and unwavering hope.

Li, a 10-year-old peasant boy is plucked from his village in rural China and sent to a ballet academy in the big city. He leaves everything and everyone he loves, including his family. Over years of gruelling training, he transforms from an impoverished peasant to a giant of the international dance scene. Li’s hope for a better life for himself and his family makes The Peasant Prince a story to ignite our own aspirations to be the best person we can be.

Monkey Baa’s extraordinary production won ‘Best Production’ at The Glugs and The Sydney Theatre Awards, and a Drover’s Award for the ‘Best Tour’ in 2016. Now it returns to Wollongong to enthral and inspire new young audiences.

Photo by Heidrun Lohr.
Photos from 2016 national tour feature performers Jenevieve Chang, Jonathan Chan, John Gomez Goodway and Edric Hong.
Illustration by Anne Spudvilas.


Director Tim McGarry
Remount Director Egan Sun-Bin
Production Designer Michael Hankin
Composer Daryl Wallis
Movement Director Danielle Micich
Remount Movement Director Lia Reutens
Lighting Designer Sian James-Holland
Author and Script Consultant Li Cunxin
Cast Agnes Choi, Jonathan Lim, Gerwin Widjaja and Alan Zhu
  • It’s a vivid piece of storytelling that is skilful, theatrical and inspiring. It was a loving and honest adaptation of Li’s treasured memoir - Stage Whispers
  • The Peasant Prince is vital, exuberant, aspirational, and inspirational. - Australian Stage
  • Monkey Baa Theatre Company has created another wonderful work for children. - Broadway World
  • My son was entranced and my daughter was mesmerised. I was drawn in by the magical telling of a powerful story told so simply and so well. - Sydney Arts Guide
  • Monkey Baa has created, yet again, a gem for children and adults alike. - Theatre Now

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