The Peasant Prince


Monkey Baa Theatre Company & HPAC present The Peasant Prince 

Based on the book by Li Cunxin, Illustrated by Anne Spudvilas.
Adapted for the stage by Eva Di Cesare, Sandie Eldridge and Tim McGarry
Cast: Agnes Choi, Jonathan Lim, Gerwin Widjaja and Alan Zhu. 

Monkey Baa is thrilled to announce the return of its award-winning production The Peasant Prince in 2024. The children’s version of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, The Peasant Prince is an extraordinary production of a remarkable story – of a peasant boy turned dance giant. It will inspire and enthral young audiences. 

 “You have your secret dreams. Follow them. Make them come true.” -From The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin 

The Peasant Prince tells the remarkable true story of a 10-year-old peasant boy’s journey from impoverished rural China to the international dance scene. This is a 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, this boy transforms from an impoverished peasant to a giant of the international dance scene. Li’s courage, resilience and unwavering 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. Audiences will be captivated by this very personal story, truly a 20th century fairy tale. 

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. 


“It’s a vivid piece of storytelling that is skillful, 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

"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

School booking enquiries for either of the two Friday performances can be made to HPAC Box Office - 5573 0429 or via email: Schools Booking Enquiry

Or to book your school students in now so you don't miss out, please follow this link to the booking form -

Book your school in here

This project is supported by the Australian Government, Creative Australia, NSW Government, Arts on Tour and Creative Victoria.

Warning: Please note that the production contains themes of racism and simulated violence.

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

Access & Inclusion: This is a COVIDsafe, accessible and inclusive event taking place on Gunditjmara Country. If you need assistance at the venue, please let us know when booking your ticket or contact us directly. 

Adult $25
Student $15
Child $13
Schools $12 (Friday performances only)

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    • Children
    • $25.00
    • 15-16 August 2024
    • 60 minutes
    • Hamilton Performing Arts Centre
    • subvenue The Handbury Auditorium
    • Suitable Age 7+
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    Hamilton Performing Arts Centre

    113 Brown St Hamilton VIC Australia


    The Handbury Auditorium