The Light Princess
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A king and queen, after some time, have a daughter. The king invites everyone to the christening, except his sister Princess Makemnoit, a spiteful and sour woman. She arrives without an invitation and curses the princess to have no gravity. Whenever the princess accidentally moves up in the air, she has to be brought down, and the wind is capable of carrying her off. As she grows, she never cries, and never can be brought to see the serious side of anything. The court philosophers, when consulted, are unable to propose any cure that the king and queen will suffer to be used.
She passionately loves swimming, and when she swims, she regains her gravity. This leads to the proposal that if she could be brought to cry, it might break the curse. But nothing can induce her to cry.
A prince from another country sets out to find a wife, but finds fault in every princess he finds. He had not intended to seek out the light princess, but, upon becoming lost in a forest, he finds the princess swimming. Thinking she is drowning, he "rescues" her, ending up with her in the air, with her scolding him. He falls instantly in love and, upon her demand, puts her back in the water, and goes swimming with her. Days pass, and the prince learns that her manner is changed between the water and the land, and he can not marry her as she is on land.
Princess Makemnoit, meanwhile, discovers that the princess loves the lake and sets out to dry it up. The water is drained from the lake, the springs are stopped up, and the rain ceases. Even babies no longer cry water.
As the lake dries up, it is discovered that the only way to stop it is to block the hole the water is flowing from, and the only thing that will block it is a living man, who would die in the deed. The prince volunteers, on the condition that the princess keep him company while the lake fills. The lake fills up. When the prince has almost drowned, the princess frantically drags his body from the lake to take it to her old nurse, who is a wise woman. They tend him through the night, and he wakes at dawn. The princess falls to the floor and cries.
After the princess masters the art of walking, she marries the prince. Princess Makemnoit's house is undermined by the waters and falls in, drowning her. The light princess and her prince have many children, none of whom ever lose their gravity.
Musical stage production
The National Theatre is producing a musical staging of the story. It is adapted by Samuel Adamson; directed by Marianne Elliott, winner of the Tony Award for Best Directing in 2011; and will have music and lyrics by Tori Amos. It was expected to premiere in London in April 2012, but The National Theatre announced in October 2011 that the production would be delayed until later in the year.  It finally opened to mixed reviews in September 2013 starring Rosalie Craig who trained at Rose Bruford College drama school gaining a degree in Actor Musicianship in 2001.
For the stage production the original story underwent major changes and received a strong feminist message. The princess lost her mother and in an attempt to reach for her in the heavens loses her gravity and the ability to cry. Her father has become a cold-hearted man after the loss of his wife and only son Alexander. The princess is called Althea and her country Lagobel becomes at war with the neighboring Sealand. When Althea escapes Dagobel she ends up in 'The Wilderness', a nomansland that separates Lagobel and Sealand. There she meets Sealand's prince, Digby who is unable to smile. The two fall in love, but soon after that they get into a fight about Digby's old-fashioned ideas of marriage and motherhood. Althea's father undertakes several attempts to regain his daughter's gravity, concluding that love is the cure. He hides her in his dungeon before an arranged marriage, but Althea manages to escape. She flees to the lake that has dried out. Digby decides to break the dam so the water can flow back into the lake. He almost gets killed, causing Althea to cry and she therefore regains her gravity. The two get married and live happily ever after.
Another stage adaption was done to the fairy tale by a Massachusetts director, Emily C. A. Snyder.
Notes and references
-  Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "BBC News - Tori Amos musical The Light Princess put on hold". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- The Light Princess (Etext from CCEL)
- The Light Princess (Etext from Project Gutenberg)
- The Light Princess (Audio Book from Librivox)