The Peasant Prince

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The Peasant Prince

A story of courage, resilience and unwavering hope.

Monkey Baa is thrilled to announce our award-winning production of 'The Peasant Prince' for the National Tour 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.

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.

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.
Based on the book by Li Cunxin, Illustrated by Anne Spudvilas
Adapted for the stage by Eva Di Cesare, Sandie Eldridge and Tim McGarry
Photos by Heidrun Lohr
  • Venue NSW, VIC, QLD, NT, ACT
  • Dates May - September
  • Duration 60 minutes, no interval
  • Ages Ages 7-12
  • Years Years 2-6
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National Tour

  • NSW

    Q Theatre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre 11 May – 13 May, 2024
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    Glen Street Theatre 16 May – 18 May, 2024
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    Riverside Parramatta 21 May – 22 May, 2024
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    Illawarra Performing Arts Centre 03 Sep – 04 Sep, 2024
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    Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre 06 Sep 2024
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    Wagga Wagga
    Wagga Wagga Civic Theare 09 Sep – 10 Sep, 2024
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    Orange Civic Theatre 12 Sep 2024
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    Griffith Regional Theatre 16 Sep 2024
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    The Art House Wyong 19 Sep – 20 Sep, 2024
    Coming Soon
    Manning Entertainment Centre 24 Sep 2024
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  • NT

    Darwin Entertainment Centre 27 May – 28 May, 2024
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  • QLD

    Cairns City
    Cairns Performing Arts Centre 04 Jun 2024
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    Rockhampton City
    Pilbeam Theatre 06 Jun – 07 Jun, 2024
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    Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre 10 Jun – 11 Jun, 2024
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    Logan Central
    Logan Entertainment Centre 14 Jun 2024
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    Bundaberg Central
    Moncrieff Entertainment Centre 18 Jun 2024
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  • VIC

    Mildura Arts Centre 23 Jul 2024
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    Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre 25 Jul – 26 Jul, 2024
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    The Capital 30 Jul 2024
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    Lighthouse Theatre 01 Aug 2024
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    Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre 06 Aug 2024
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    Geelong Arts Centre 08 Aug 2024
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    Frankston Arts Centre 13 Aug 2024
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    Hamilton Performing Arts Centre 15 Aug – 16 Aug, 2024
    Coming Soon
    Narre Warren
    Bunjil Place 19 Aug – 20 Aug, 2024
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    Forge Theatre and Arts Hub 22 Aug – 23 Aug, 2024
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    Riverlinks Venues 27 Aug 2024
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  • ACT

    Canberra Theatre Centre 30 Aug – 31 Aug, 2024
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Education Program Extras
Compliment your students learning and enhance their engagement by adding on our additional resources, available with all school-group bookings. Email to find out more.
The Peasant Prince Workshops

Join Li on his adventure from China to the international dance scene with engaging drama games and activities as you explore the themes and world of The Peasant Prince, based on Mao’s Last Dancer.

Our dynamic workshops empower students to build courage through creativity while developing skills across all areas of theatre making. Workshops can be tailored to suit all students’ needs, abilities and areas of study. 

Our experienced Teaching Artist will visit your school and run the workshop in the classroom. Watch as your students build confidence and explore their creativity in an experience they will never forget.

Click here for more information, or email to organise a workshop at your school

Suitable for | Years 2 - 6

Duration | 60mins

Learning Pack

Our learning pack follows Li Cunxin’s journey from China to the international dance scene and the story of the play, providing historical context, with activities for your classroom. Designed for students in years 4, 5 and 6, the pack includes activities for Drama, Art, English, and History, with links to the Australian Curriculum. 

Click Here to access our e-Learning Pack, or email to find out more.

Q&A Sessions

All Education Performances at ARA Darling Quarter Theatre will be concluded with a Question and Answer session with the cast of The Peasant Prince. Students are invited to talk and interact with the artists, and will hear about the unique perspectives our artists have of the story and the creative process.

Creative Team


Eva Di Cesare


Sandie Eldridge


Tim McGarry


Tim McGarry

Associate Director

Egan Sun-Bin

Production Designer

Michael Hankin


Daryl Wallis

Movement Director

Danielle Micich

Remount Movement Director

Lia Reutens

Lighting Designer

Sian James-Holland

Remount Lighting Designer

Matt Cox

Author and Script Consultant

Li Cunxin

Production Photographer

Clare Hawley

“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

"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


Wheelchair Accessible
Contact us for more details about wheelchair and companion positions in the theatre
National Relay Service
If you are d/Deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service.
Assisted Listening
Assisted listening devices are available in the theatre.


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