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Welcome to the world of 'Peter Pan'

I became a devoted slave to Peter Pan long before I had the unprecedented luck of actually working with Louis Marks on Andrew Birkin's biographical adaptation for television of the lives of primarily, J M Barrie, and his involvement with the 5 Llewellyn Davis Boys. I remain a devotee and fan of the original work and even have a (5th) First Edition of the book. I watch all the new versions and read biographies and even sequels which have appeared since I worked on 'The Lost Boys' and have opinions on them all which, will become apparent as this page evolves!

The Original

Michael Llewellyb Davis as PP in 1907

Michael as Peter Pan in 1907

Fifteen Ladies who played Peter Pan : From Nina Boucicault to Allison Williams

Three of 15 actresses who have played Peter Pan

l to r Nina Boucicault (1904), Mary Martin (1960) and Allison Williams (2014)

Fabulous website dedicated to 15 leading ladies who portrayed 'Peter Pan' who is (nearly) always played/portrayed by ladies (PC brigade note, the use of the word ladies on my website and this page is deliberate) - if you don't recognise the names then please have a look! The intro (abridged) reads :

"Peter Pan holds a special spot in so many queer girls' hearts. For example, I'm pretty sure that Mary Martin playing Peter Pan in the televised 1960 version of Peter Pan is my root? Also, at least 25% of y'all have been Peter Pan for Halloween, don't lie. Peter Pan's eternal youth and rascally, androgyne qualities are recalled in many modern conceptions of the term "boi," as it is employed to describe a particular style and attitude of boyish masculinity as embodied by female-bodied queers. Peter Pan has a special place in queer theory and queer cultural critique. But perhaps most importantly, many of us are drawn to Peter Pan because she's played by a woman who can pass as a little boy, like so many lesbians in real life! Why has Peter Pan always been played by a woman? Well, back in 1904 when the show debuted, kids under the age of 14 were prohibited by law from performing on a British stage after 9pm. This wouldn't necessarily be a huge problem for casting Peter — but if Peter was played by a teenage boy, then the rest of the cast would need to be "scaled down," meaning that characters like The Lost Boys would need to be played by even younger boys, and Wendy by a girl rather than a woman, and inevitably we'd be dealing with kids under the age of 14. Casting a grown man in the part seemed a tad creepy, but also would've been a strain on the already-challenging affair of making Peter Pan fly using rope and stage wizardry. Thus playwright James M. Barrie requested that they cast a woman. This wasn't an unusual practice in those times.

Things have changed over the years, of course, and now Peter Pan is often played by a male actor, as in the 2003 live-action version. The 1982 Royal Shakespeare Production was the first of many theatrical performances that went with a male lead, to very mixed reviews. When NBC announced they'd be putting on a live-action performance of Peter Pan this December, rumors began swirling that a boy would be cast. Pretty much everybody was surprised when Allison Williams of Girls was announced as the new Peter Pan. NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt enthused that Williams would "bring the perfect blend of 'boyish' vulnerability and bravado," while producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron promised that "she will reinvent the iconic role of Peter Pan with her wit, her warmth, her dynamic flying and her wonderful musical abilities." Then the first photos of Williams as Peter Pan were released yesterday.

I wanted to highlight this site before embarking on individual interpretations of the never-ending story of Neverland below.

The Not-so-Originals :

2018/9 - Peter Pan - The Musical (2013) Work In Progress

Daily Mail - By Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail |

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Gary showers pixie dust on Pan musical: Barlow to give the show another overhaul before it flies into the West End next year 

The musical Finding Neverland is to be overhauled — again — before it flies into the West End. The show — based on the novel by Allan Knee and the film that starred Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp, about J. M. Barrie’s inspiration for writing Peter Pan — has been through at least three iterations since it was launched five years ago in Leicester, where it was a disaster.

The show then ran on Broadway, and is now in Los Angeles, during a U.S. tour. It was due to have opened in London this summer, but for a variety of reasons has been postponed. It’s hoped it will be ready for 2018, or early the following year. After Leicester, Gary Barlow and playwright James Graham were contracted to revamp Neverland, and to a certain degree they have succeeded. At least there are now some hum-able songs — four of which I like a lot. But Barlow and Graham are going to be asked to work even harder: to come up with some new numbers, and to rewrite and sharpen the show’s book, paying particular attention to removing any Americanisms that would stick in the craw of British audiences. There’s also the delicate nature of the relationship between Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies boys (who prompted him to write Peter Pan), and how to put that across without it seeming creepy.

The elaborate staging by director Diane Paulus and strangely out-of-keeping choreography by Mia Michaels (I grimaced at each and every dance step she created) are likely to be ditched. It’s not yet known whether the pair would remain with a London production, or be replaced. One suggestion would be to bring in a British ‘show doctor’ to work alongside Ms Paulus. Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, who had the joint role of Barrie’s producer, Charles Frohman, and Captain Hook in the Broadway show, told me: ‘The plan had been to open in London this year, but they’re going to work on some changes and I’m hoping I’ll be in London with Finding Neverland next year.’

Neverland’s producer, Harvey Weinstein***, could not be reached for comment.

*** Oh dear and that was before the scandal broke .......

2018 - Peter Pan on Ice

Peter Pan on Ice Poster

Peter Pan on Ice

New to Winter Wonderland this year, Peter Pan on Ice combines powerful storytelling and world-class ice skating.

"J M Barrie's well-loved story of Peter Pan takes to the ice at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, with breath-taking skating, flying and special effects. Join Peter – the boy who never grows up – as he and Tinker Bell whisk Wendy and her brothers from their London home off on a magical journey to Neverland. Together they enjoy thrilling adventures with the Lost Boys, encountering the evil Captain Hook and his pirates, as well as a hungry crocodile! Making a triumphant return to the Winter Palace Theatre for a third season, the award-winning Imperial Ice Stars comprise 24 World, European and National Championship-level skaters – including Olga Sharutenko from Dancing on Ice – who will have you on the edge of your seat with their exhilarating leaps, throws and spins, not to mention some daredevil aerial fighting! With state-of-the-art animated scenery, dazzling costumes, fire-on-ice and original music and songs, this narrated Peter Pan on Ice is a thrilling show for adults as well as families."

2018 - Peter Pan in the Park - (2015)

Packed with puppetry and enough theatrical magic to enchant both young and old alike, our spellbinding reinvention of Peter Pan is back. For the wounded soldiers of World War One, imagination is their only escape. Yet as they’re transported to the fantastical lagoons and pirate ships of Never Land, allegories of the war they’ve left behind are ever present. George Llewelyn Davies, later killed in action in 1915, was one of the children who inspired J. M. Barrie to create the iconic character of Peter Pan. Remembering him, and a generation of Lost Boys, Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel’s “stunning, moving, definitive production is not to be missed” (Time Out) : Source : Open Air Theatre

Peter Pan Poster for the Open Air Theatre

Poster sourced from openairtheatre.com

Full Review :

You think you know Pan? You don't know Pan

This review is from 2015; 'Peter Pan' returns for 2018 with a new cast to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War; a new review will follow in May 2018

Obviously it's presumptuous of me to say that Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel’s jaw-dropping outdoor production is the best ‘Peter Pan’ ever staged: JM Barrie’s play is 111 years old, and I think the only other stage version I’ve seen was a dire panto starring David Hasselhoff.
But screw it: the fact is JM Barrie’s story has proven more enduring than his actual 1904 play – if other productions of his drama about the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up were this good, it surely wouldn’t have faded into pantomime hell. The directors’ basic trick here is to realise ‘Peter Pan’ audiences have come for a magical spectacle, and then give them a heap more besides. The darkness beneath ‘Pan’s surface has been noted over the years: the story of lusty young boys hurling themselves recklessly into glorious battle with pirates in the enchanted realm of Neverland foreshadowed the cataclysm of WWI, in which the same generation threw itself away for real, with one of the fatalities being George Davies, Barrie’s favourite of the siblings who inspired the Lost Boys. Sheader and Steel cast ‘Peter Pan’ as a richly allegorical fantasia, in which the boys begin as wounded soldiers in a bombed out field hospital operated by Kae Alexander’s Wendy, while David Birrell’s haughty Captain Hook is explicitly styled to look like Lord Kitchener. In this allegory the boys' nemesis isn’t the Germans, but the callous empire that demands their lives. As Peter Pan, Sri Lankan-born Hiran Abeysekera’s is fascinating: dark skinned and accented, he is the perfect impish outsider but also, surely, a symbol for the dawning independence movements in Britain’s colonies. Crucially, none of this is laid on with a trowel: Neverland soon invades the real world (Jon Bausor’s sets are superb), and though the directors find a profound, elegiac context for Pan and posse’s adventures, their adapted text doesn’t beat you around the head with the horrors of war. Moreover, it looks stunning: stuffed with steampunky puppets courtesy of Rachel Canning – foremost the wondrously alien Tinkerbell, made of a lantern and a desk lamp – there’s also great wire work that allows Pan and the boys to fly around with élan, plus some stonkingly swashbuckling fight scenes. No expense has been spared – surely the West End beckons – and it’s every bit the do derring spectacle you want it to be. But it combines that with something more: the most audacious scene has the boys menaced by truly unsettling gasmask-wearing mermaid puppets. A visionary and defining production.

By: Andrzej Lukowski Posted: Wednesday, 1st November 2017 | More reviews here

2016 - Peter Pan Goes Wrong - TV

Peter Pan Goes Wrong Radio Times write up

From the Daily Mail :

Wendy Craig was my first Peter Pan. She flew! She actually possessed the power of levitating across the stage.

To a four-year-old, this was irrefutable proof that magic was real, so when later we all had to declare that we believed in fairies, I needed no more convincing. I still remember shouting so hard that I fell off my seat. That was at the Scala Theatre in London, probably in 1968 — certainly not much later, because it burned down the following year. Miss Craig is still going strong. After decades of classic sitcoms such as Butterflies, she is now detective Humphrey Goodman’s aunt on Death In Paradise, and later this month she’ll be loopy Miss Davina Bat in The Worst Witch on CBBC. She ought to be a Dame by now, except that in my heart she’ll always be a Principal Boy. (That’s a panto joke. Oh, please yourselves . . .)

All this means that J.M. Barrie’s play for children, a fixture of the Christmas theatre season since it was first performed in 1904, is a sacred text, and above mockery. So I approached Peter Pan Goes Wrong warily, not at all keen to see it traduced. In fact, this wickedly clever farce by the West End’s Mischief Theatre company didn’t merely respect the original — it expected us to know every line. If you didn’t, you might not have understood why there was a fat man dressed as a St Bernard (that was Nana, the children’s canine nursemaid) or how Captain Hook came to be so afraid of the crocodile.

Plenty of the jokes were aimed at the world of am dram, with its part-time prima donnas and wobbly sets, but mostly this was high-speed slapstick of the slickest order. When Peter lands heavily and gets smacked in the face by a loose plank, there’s no need to understand what point we’ve reached in the story. It’s just funny. And so many people got smacks in the face, or crushed by falling scenery, or set alight, or dropped from a great height, or pushed downstairs, or punched, kicked, throttled and trampled, that once you started giggling you never stopped. It was all done with split-second timing that would have made Buster Keaton proud. Even narrator David Suchet, hamming it up with joy, got flattened — by a runaway pirate ship.

David Suchet with the cast of Peter Pan Goes wrong

Peter Pan Goes wrong cast

The cast on the 'Jolly Roger' - image courtesy & © of the BBC

His little turn, when he stole Captain Hook’s moustache and donned it to become Hercule Poirot, was a shameless bit of scene-stealing — everyone else was suffering GBH for laughs, and he got one with a French accent. Served him right to get run over by the Jolly Roger.

This was a theatre production crammed onto the small screen. However faithfully it was done, the rumbles of that collapsing scenery and the smell of burning greasepaint would be all the funnier live. But it was imaginative, uproarious and wholly unexpected!

2016 - Peter Pan in Scarlet at the New Vic

Stage version Peter Pan in Scarlet a\t the New Vic

Source New Vic : a New Vic Theatre and Oxford Playhouse Production

Based on an original novel by Geraldine McCaughrean. Adapted and directed by Theresa Heskins

The official sequel to J M Barrie’s Peter Pan by the three-time Whitbread Children’s Book Award winner, this awfully big adventure has been adapted for the stage in her trademark all-action style by New Vic Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins. It’s 1929, Wendy and the Lost Boys have all grown up. Then, suddenly, 20 years after they left, they begin to dream of Neverland – of pirates and mermaids, war paint and crocodiles. Something is wrong and Peter Pan needs their help.

So Wendy, John and the Lost Boys put on their children’s clothes and, armed only with fairy dust, fly back to Neverland to join Peter for one last adventure. But everything has changed. And the dangers they meet are beyond their wildest dreams.

2016 - The Man Who Was Peter Pan

Source : Theatre Workshop

2015 - Wendy & Peter Pan at the RSC (2013)

"A magical version of JM Barrie's classic children's story Wendy & Peter Pan by Ella Hickson adapted from the novel by JM Barrie"

Roayla Shakespeare Company poster for Wendy & Peter Pan

Finale of Wendy and Peter Pan

Images sourced from and © of the RSC and Manuel Harlan for the action photograph

2015 - Pan - A Film

'Twelve-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be for ever known as Peter Pan.' Source : IMDB

2015 - Finding Neverland - Broadway Musical

Finding Neverland the Musical Poster

Finding Neverland New Broadway Musical

The new Broadway Musical in 2015

Based on the Miramax motion picture by David Magee and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, one of the most beloved stories of all time. Source : Broadway World

FINDING NEVERLAND is Broadway’s biggest new hit and the winner of Broadway.com's Audience Choice Award for BEST MUSICAL! This breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart” (Time Magazine). Vogue cheers, "it’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!” Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. Source : Broward Center

2013 - 2018 - Peter Pan, the never ending story

Peter Pan the Never ending story 2013-2018

Image courtesy and sourced from experiencenottinghamshire.com

This ground-breaking theatrical production, visiting Capital FM (now Motorpoint) Arena Nottingham 13 -15 September 2013, will transport audiences to a world full of fantasy as they witness for the first time, a theatrical spectacular of cinematic quality. A feast of dance and music, the show will capture the hearts and imaginations of every generation of the family! Peter Pan will fly! He’ll be elevated into the air without harnesses by an incredible wind turbine, allowing him to realistically fly on the stage. A breath-taking experience, this technology will be used for the very first time on stage! World renowned musical director Matt Dunkley will be adapting contemporary hits for this spectacle, transforming classic hits by Robbie Williams, Seal and Rod Stewart to name a few, creating a truly impressive soundtrack to compliment one of the most extraordinary arena shows ever seen! Source : experiencenottinghamshire.com

Tinkerbelle Poster for Never ending story

Stacey Soloman as Tinker Bell

Images sourced from atgtickets.com

Staring the wonderful Stacey Solomon as Tinker Bell, the narrator of the story, this is a must-see production…

See the boy who never grows up in a live adventure you’ll never forget. Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story World Arena Tour is a high-flying, hi-tech fantasy adventure that combines the drama and excitement of live theatre with the epic visuals of a blockbuster movie. Pinch yourself as you watch Peter Pan fly high above the stage without wires – a world first in theatre! Marvel at the spectacular scenery, brought to life by state-of-the-art digital imaging – Neverland like never before. Lose yourself in the show’s original music score and specially arranged classic songs including Angels, Forever Young, Sailing and Nessun Dorma. And hold your breath as Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys cross swords with Captain Hook and his Pirates. Featuring an international cast of acrobats, dancers, stuntmen and magicians, Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story World Arena Tour is a magical experience that moves live entertainment into a new dimension. Theatre… with added fairy dust! Source : ssearena.co.uk (Wembley)

Never ending story poster 2014

"Many of us grew to love Peter Pan and his adventures from the iconic animated film produced by Walt Disney in 1953. However, few know the history of the titular character dates back to when J.M. Barrie wrote the play "Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" in 1904. Since then, there have been many other adaptations but nothing quite like this musical. It takes this well-known classic into the modern realm by re-imagining the adventures of Peter Pan and his friends through chart-topping pop songs and slick choreography. In this production, Tinkerbell is the narrator and she takes us through Peter Pan's journey, from meeting Wendy, John and Michael Darling in London, to bringing them to Neverland and finally, to the epic sword fight against Captain Hook." - Narrative and image sourced from : thesmartlocal.com

Reviews here

2012 - Disney's Return to Neverland

Disney Sequel Peter Pan 2002

The 2002 Disney sequel 'Return to Neverland' IMDB

2004 - Finding Neverland - The Film

Finding Neverland Film Poster 2004

The film poster for the 2004 film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet with support from Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie - IMDB

Much as I adore Christie she portrayed the du Maurier side of the family in a bad light, the choice of Winslet as Sylvia and Depp as Barrie was a bad mistake too; I have never liked Winslet, far too pretentious and I have stopped liking Depp in recent times, the last interesting film he made was 'The Tourist', regrettably 'Pirates' and 'The Lone Ranger' were more than a little pretentious! I expect Hoffman called in favours as this was his directorial debut as well as appearing in a cameo - I said I would be brutal!

Review : "Finding Neverland" is the story of a man who doesn't want to grow up, and writes the story of a boy who never does. The boy is Peter Pan, and the man is Sir J.M. Barrie, who wrote his famous play after falling under the spell of a widow and her four young boys. That Barrie was married at the time, that he all but ignored his wife, that he all but moved into the widow's home, that his interest in the boys raised little suspicion, would make this story play very differently today. Johnny Depp's performance makes Barrie not only believable, but acceptable. And he does it without evading the implications of his behavior: The movie doesn't inoculate Barrie as a "family friend," but shows him truly and deeply in love with the widow and her boys, although in an asexual way; we wonder, indeed, if this man has ever had sex, or ever wants to.

The movie opens in 1903 in a London theater where Barrie, a Scottish playwright, has seen his latest play turn into a disaster. He needs something new, and quickly, because his impresario (Dustin Hoffman) has a lease on the house and needs to keep it filled. In Kensington Gardens, Barrie happens upon the Davies family: the mother, Sylvia (Kate Winslet), and her boys Peter, George, Jack and Michael. As he watches them at play, a kind of spiritual hunger begins to glow in his eyes. They represent an innocence and purity that strikes him so powerfully he's unable to think of anything else.

He becomes friendly with the family. Sylvia has recently become widowed and is not interested in a new romance, but then, curiously, nothing about Barrie's behavior suggests he's attracted to her in that way. He idealizes her, he obsesses about her boys, and when he talks about his own unhappy childhood we get a glimpse of his motivation; when his older brother died, his parents started calling him by the brother's name, and perhaps he felt he lived his brother's childhood and never had his own.

He plays games with the boys. He wrestles with a big stuffed bear. He leads them in games involving pirates and cowboys and Indians. He dresses in funny costumes. The children like him and Sylvia is grateful for his attention, especially since she has developed an alarming cough and he helps take care of the boys. The only holdout is Peter, played by Freddie Highmore in a remarkable performance; if Barrie never grew up, Peter was perhaps never a child. He is wise and solemn, feels the loss of his father more sharply than his brothers, and boldly tells Barrie: "You're not my father." Nor does Barrie want to be; he wants to be his brother. Sylvia's condition worsens, and when the boys stage a play in the family garden, it's cut short by her coughing. The boys are reassured that nothing serious is wrong, but Peter is sure they're lying to him about her illness: "I won't be made a fool!"

Two other women regard this situation with alarm. Barrie's wife Mary (Radha Mitchell) rarely sees him at home and is understandably disturbed about his relationship with the Davies family, although she is not as angry as she might be; there is the implication that she has long since given up on expecting rational behavior from her husband. He lives in a dream world, and to some degree she understands that. Not as sympathetic is Emma du Maurier (Julie Christie), Sylvia's mother, who as the widow of the famous George du Maurier moved in sophisticated circles and is not amused by a 43-year-old man who wants to become the best playmate of her grandchildren.

It is Barrie's innocence, or naivete, or perhaps even a kind of rapture, impervious to common sense, that steers him past all obstacles as he begins to form the idea of "Peter Pan" in his mind. The boys are his muses. He tries to explain his new play to his impresario, who has just closed one flop, doesn't want to open another, and is less than thrilled about a play involving fairies, pirates, and children who can fly. Depp in his scenes shows Barrie in the grip of a holy zeal, his mind operating on a private, almost trance-like level, as the play comes into focus for him. He knows, if nobody else does, that he is creating a myth that will powerfully involve children. His masterstroke is to invite 25 orphans to the play's opening night and scatter them through the audience, where their laughter and delight stirs the adults to see the magic in the play.

For Depp, "Finding Neverland" is the latest in an extraordinary series of performances. After his Oscar nomination for "Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl" (2003), here is another role that seems destined for nomination. And then think of his work in "Secret Window" (2004), the Stephen King story about the author caught in a nightmare, and his demented CIA agent in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003), and wait until you see him in "The Libertine," as the depraved and shameless Earl of Rochester. That the flamboyance of his pirate and the debauchery of the Earl could exist in the same actor as the soft-spoken, gentle, inward J.M. Barrie is remarkable. It is commonplace for actors to play widely differing roles, but Depp never makes it feel like a reach; all of these notes seem well within his range.

"Finding Neverland" is, finally, surprisingly moving. The screenplay by David Magee (based on Allan Knee's play) and the direction of Marc Forster ("Monster's Ball") manipulate the facts to get their effect; Sylvia's husband was still alive in the original story, for example, and her illness had not taken hold. But by compressing events, the movie creates for the Barrie character an opportunity for unconditional love. What he feels for the Davies family is disinterested and pure, despite all the appearances. What he feels for his wife remains a mystery, not least to her.

Barry Norman Radio Times Review of Finding Neverland

Article and image sourced from the Radio Times dated 28th March - 3rd April 2015

I chose to include this review because I rate Barry Norman as a reviewer. He brings up the spectre of today's values by reminding us of 'Operation Yewtree' in his opening paragraph and titles his review 'The man who was Peter Pan' which is usually incorrectly appended to Peter Llewelyn-Davies by those who really don't know any better! (See my book review : 'The Real Peter Pan: J. M. Barrie and the Boy Who Inspired Him' by Piers Dudgeon). A more accurate title might have been 'The man who imagined Peter Pan.' I think that Norman answers his own disturbing query of implied 'inappropriate behaviour' by virtue of the fact that right up to the present day there is no hint from any surviving du Maurier or Llewelyn-Davies family member that there was anything untoward between Barrie and the Boys. Yes, I was uncomfortable at first working on the history of the relationship in 'The Lost Boys' but then, I was still naive and unspoilt and nowhere a cynical as I can be on occasion these days when the mood takes me. I didn't like Andrew Birkin and still harbour some hostile memories towards him, but Louis Marks could do no wrong in my eyes and Louis supported Andrew - end of ! (Ghastly but fitting modern idiom). Looking back and comparing the parallel lives of authors of the era A.A. Milne (Pooh), Lewis Carroll (Alice) and a little later Michael Bond (Paddington) they all used their interaction with children (their own or those they 'could give back at the end of the day') to create a beautiful fantasy world for the rest of us! Today's 'dandruff flakes' are probably quaking under the stairs at the very thought. However, as usual I digress, returning to this version of the film; I wasn't impressed with Kate Winslet taking the role of Sylvia and Johnny Depp really wasn't Barrie, he can't help himself, Johnny Depp plays Johnny Depp. Kate Winslet is more adaptable (unlike Glenda Jackson who always played herself in the role of Elizabeth I) but doens't have the depth of Meryl Streep, a real chameleon of the cinematic medium. Winslet has a gift for choosing excellent roles but it doesn't mean she is excellent in them - sorry Kate. Unfortunately I lost any respect the three leads might ever have earned from me by their public persona : Winslet claiming she didn't want fame and would forever be faithful to her first husband, currently with husband no. 3, Depp, who started so promisingly and even recently had me in hysterics as we watched 'The Lone Ranger', then came the dumping of long-time partner, Vanessa and the subsequent and somewhat seedy story with wife Amber; Dustin Hoffman - ah well, another one who has gone down the long, long trail of the accused! In all it was a pretty film and used Freddie Highmore in the role of Peter Llewelyn-Davies once again emphasizing the erroneous belief that the third son, Peter was the basis for 'Peter Pan.' I could go on, but that would be like flogging a dead horse, Hollywood and Johnny Depp did what Hollywood and Johnny Depp wanted to do to make money!

2003 - Neverland - A Film

'Never Grow Up Never Grow Old'

When Peter takes Wendy to Neverland - a burnt out suburban amusement park filled with self-styled fairies, lost punks and beautiful performers - the classic fantasy story becomes a chilling nightmare at the hands of Captain Hook, who is hell-bent on destroying the youth and beauty he so desperately envies. Source : IMDB

2003 - Peter Pan - A Film

The Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place.

2003 Peter Pan poster

Image sourced from IMDB © Universal Studios 2003

1991 - Hook - The Film

Poster for the 1991 Film version

Hook Pan and Smee 1991

l to r Bob Hoskins (Smee), Dustin Hoffman (Hook) and Robin Williams (Pan)

You can imagine, can't you, purist that I am that this version of the film would not really appeal to me and it didn't, because, as usual the original plot was reworked. To what purpose I can only speculate .... however, it was a lavish production as you would expect from Spielberg. I didn't like it. It also seemed, according to the critics, to have failed miserably if the on-line reviews are anything to go by. I'm sad to say that the trio shown above all have something unsavoury about them - Hoskins I have personal knowledge of, he together with Ralph Nossek decided to try and destroy my car and didn't even leave a note! Eventually they coughed up to the crime and paid for the damage, but only after I had reported the incident to the Police; nasty oiks the pair of them. Hoffman is currently under scrutiny for his sexual and un-pc behaviour towards his peers and Williams committed suicide in 2014, was he afraid of some sort of exposure? Not a nice 'crew' to depict one of the most loved children's stories of all time. Astonishingly - yes, astonishingly my brother-in-law (Andrew's youngest sibling) doesn't know the classic tale of Peter Pan, has never read it and believes 'Hook' to be the definitive! Ouch!

1988 - Peter Pan - (Animation)

Peter Pan takes Wendy, John and Michael to Neverland to live with the Lost Boys and foil the dim-witted Captain Jasper Hook and his crew of three pirates; Smee, Cecco and a large black man.

1988 Animated Storybook Classic

Image sourced from IMDB

1976 - Live action Peter Pan Musical TV Movie

Peter Pan was a 1976 musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, produced for television as part of the "Hallmark Hall of Fame", starring Mia Farrow as Peter Pan and Danny Kaye as Captain Hook, and with Sir John Gielgud narrating. Julie Andrews sang one of the songs, "Once Upon a Bedtime", off-camera over the opening credits. It aired on NBC at 7:30pm on Sunday, December 12, 1976, capping off the program's 25th year on the air. The program did not use the score written for the highly successful Mary Martin version which had previously been televised many times on NBC. Instead, it featured 14 new and now forgotten songs, written for the production by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. Source : tvmuseumdvds.com

Mia Farrow in Studio pose as Peter Pan

Mia Farrow striking a pose as "Peter Pan" - image sourced from autostraddle.com via toutlecine

TV image advertising Danny Kaye and Mia Farrow in Peter Pan 1975

TV Guide dated 11th December 1976 - image sourced from ebay.ie (miscellaneous DVD search)

Illustration advertising Danny Kaye and Mia Farrow in Peter Pan 1975

Illustration from the Philadelphia "Inquirer" TV Week supplement dated 12th December 1976 - image sourced from ebay.com

Programme cover of Tv Peter Pan starring Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow as Peter Pan - image sourced from tvmuseumdvds.com

TV Programme Cover featuring Mia Farrow as Peter Pan 1976

Chicago "Sun-Times" TV Prevue Magazine dated 12th December 1976 featuring Mia Farrow as "Peter Pan" on the front cover. Image sourced from picclick.co.uk

A short article promoting the TV Show and its previous popularity

Article accompanying TV Guide sourced from ebay.ie (miscellaneous DVD search)

Hall of Fame - 7.30pm - Peter Pan Special
Mia Farrow and Danny Kaye star in a new TV adaptation of the children's classic.
J.M. Barrie's tale tells of the perennial youth Peter Pan (Farrow) and his adventures with the Darling children and the villainous Captain Hook (Kaye) in Never-Never Land, the home of youngsters who never grow up.
Mary Martin won an Emmy for the 1966 TV adaptation of the play, Best Program of that year. Anthony Newley and Lesley Bricusse wrote the score for this production. Musical highlights include "Once upon a bedtime" (sung by Julie Andrews over the opening credits), "I'm better with You", "They don't male 'em like me any more", "By Hook or by Crook" and "The Rotters Hall of Fame."
John Gielgud narrates, Mrs. Darling : Virginia McKenna, Tiger Lily : Paula Kelly, Wendy : Briony McRoberts, Smee : Tony Sympson, John : Ian Sharrock, Michael : Adam Stafford.
(A background article about the writing of "Peter Pan" is on page 12 - See image below) - Full list of song titles (from an independent website devoted to Danny Kaye) available here

Peter Pan the deeper meaning accompanying 1972 TV version

I always seem to end up transcribing either the written word or audio tapes - luckily this image sourced from ebay.ie (miscellaneous DVD search) is visibly readable and thereby saving me the trouble (unfortunately the can did chop bits off the bottom!)

1960 - Peter Pan

Starring Mary Martin (J.R.'s mum!)

A rare treat - costume design for Mary Martin as Peter Pan. Designed by Academy Award winner Dorothy Jeakins - image sourced from peterpanhistory.com

1953 - Disney's Peter Pan

Peter Pan 1953 Disney animation Film Poster

Disney's 'Peter Pan' 1953 animation IMDB

1924 - Peter Pan

1924 Film version Peter Pan

Peter Pan Poster 1924

1924 film version Peter Pan

Lobby Cards

Peter Pan 1924 Silent Movie Lobby Card scene depicting Peter entering the nursery

Peter Pan 1924 Silent Movie Lobby Card scene depicting Wendy sewing on the lost shadow

Peter Pan 1924 Silent Movie Lobby Card Peter and Wendy pucker up

Peter Pan 1924 Silent Movie Lobby Card scene depicting Peter and Wendy in the nursery with Mrs Darling

Peter Pan 1924 Silent Movie Lobby Card scene depicting Wendy hanging on to Peter as they take flight

This silent version was directed by Herbert Brenon and starred Betty Bronson as Peter Pan and Mary Brian as Wendy Darling. It also featured Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook, Virginia Browne Faire as Tinker Bell.

Peter Pan in Scarlet (the official & commissioned sequel)

Peter Pan in Scarlet UK edition Peter Pan in Scarlet US edition

Commissioned by GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital) l to r British Edition and US Edition - images courtesy of Neverpedia

Source : Great Ormond Street Hospital "Specially commissioned by Great Ormond Street Hospital as the official sequel to Peter Pan, this is a thrilling adventure that you will never forget. Neverland is calling again... Something is wrong in Neverland.  Dreams are leaking out - strangely real dreams, of pirates and mermaids, of warpaint and crocodiles.  For Wendy and the Lost Boys it is a clear signal - Peter Pan needs their help, and so it is time to do the unthinkable and fly to Neverland again.

In 2006, Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean was published after Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity launched the search for a sequel to JM Barrie's timeless classic, Peter Pan.

Peter Pan in Scarlet facts 

Publishers and literary agents worldwide were invited to put forward the names of up to two authors to be considered for the project.

Geraldine McCaughrean was the author chosen from a field of nearly 200 entries from around the world. It is published by Oxford University Press in the UK and McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster) in the US. It has been published in 40 editions worldwide and translated in 37 languages – to date. A fully illustrated edition, abridged for younger children, was published in October 2008 by Oxford University Press with stunning artwork by David Wyatt.

The story of Peter Pan in Scarlet

Set in the 1920s, the new story of Peter Pan in Scarlet offers readers high adventure, dramatic tension and all the swashbuckling, danger and derring-do they can handle. Neverland is calling again… Something is wrong in Neverland. Dreams are leaking out – strangely real dreams of pirates and mermaids, of warpaint and crocodiles. 

For Wendy and the Lost Boys it is a clear signal – Peter Pan needs their help, and so it is time to do the unthinkable and fly to Neverland again. But back in Neverland, everything has changed and the dangers they find there are far beyond their dreams..."

The Guardian Arts Review : Peter Pan in Scarlet
by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by David Wyatt 275pp, Oxford, £12.99

The official sequel to Peter Pan needs to be an exceptional book, and that's exactly what we have in Peter Pan in Scarlet. From the very first page, only the most stony-hearted, dyed-in-the-wool Peter Pan fan could fail to be charmed by Geraldine McCaughrean's lightness of touch, sureness of writing and sparkling imagination. When a proof copy of Peter Pan in Scarlet landed on my desk, I intended to have a quick peek before knuckling down to some writing of my own. As it was, I ended up reading the story from beginning to end.

JM Barrie's original 1904 Peter Pan was a play, which took a further seven years to appear in its definitive book form, Peter and Wendy. McCaughrean was chosen to write the sequel from around 200 submissions of sample chapters and synopses, in a competition devised both for publicity and financial reasons. In the UK, Peter Pan goes out of copyright in 2007 and the royalties that Barrie's creation has generated for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children will cease overnight. By splitting the royalties for Peter Pan in Scarlet between author and hospital, it's hoped that Pan will continue to help sick children. For this reason alone, it would be understandable if Great Ormond Street had gone for glitzy, mass-market appeal. Instead, they have chosen a more sophisticated and subtle approach: a book of timeless charm. This truly commendable decision was probably made easier by the fact that McCaughrean's submission must have blown even its closest rival out of the water. Books such as this are as rare as fairy dust.

McCaughrean has been quoted as saying that she had to undo a few knots that Barrie had "cast off so very absolutely", but they have been undone very nimbly by a consummate professional. The play originally ended with the Darling children returning from Neverland to their nursery and to bed. Then, one February evening in 1908, an epilogue was performed: "An Afterthought". In it, Wendy has grown up and has a daughter of her own, named Jane. It is Jane, not Wendy, who then flies to Neverland. The epilogue also reveals the fate of the Lost Boys who came back to England with the Darlings, the men they came to be. These adult episodes later made their way into Peter and Wendy, the novel. McCaughrean could have chosen to disregard this afterthought, but instead, she has embraced it, making the Lost Boys the Old Boys and sticking to the careers Barrie gave them ... but she then has to make them boys again, and find a way of returning them to Neverland with Wendy. Judge Tootles somehow ends up a girl in the process, and it movingly transpires that Michael Darling was killed in the first world war (as was the real-life George Llewellyn Davies, the eldest of the brothers to whom Barrie told the original stories). Then there is the matter of Captain Hook, who - as a requirement of the Great Ormond Street competition - is not quite so dead after all.

The book is exciting and funny, with some very dark corners, though less casually violent than its predecessor, and it is all wrapped up in McCaughrean's wonderfully inventive language. The main themes involve clothes making the man - or in this case the boy - and in a very dangerous manner (in a story strand expanded from a paragraph near the close of Barrie's novel); and the fact that, like Holmes and Moriarty, Pan needs Hook and vice versa. Without there being even the faintest whiff of pastiche, McCaughrean has created a sequel so similar in tone and flavour to the original that they make a perfect matching pair. This is an extraordinary achievement.

A question which will, inevitably, be asked is whether this is more an adult than a children's book. The answer depends entirely on how you perceive the original Peter Pan, the two being so inexorably entwined. What McCaughrean has done is nothing short of miraculous. It's enough to make you believe in fairies."

I may have to re-read this to fully review it, but I think I found it tedious the first time around and did not empathise with the characters.

Neverpedia

Brilliant and very respectful website. Well worth a visit.

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