‘Do you believe in fairies? Say quick that you believe!’ – Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a narrative many of us believe we know well, and yet the J.M. Barrie play that premiered on a West End stage in December 1904 is not the depiction of Peter, Wendy, Hook, and Never Land that most people have experienced. It was the critical and commercial success of this particular play which propelled the notoriety and appeal of the story, and without the success of that first production, Peter Pan would not be such a familiar part of our mainstream culture. Lucie Sutherland examines how, and why, this play became so popular, why the trans-Atlantic collaboration of Barrie and Charles Frohman was vital to the success of the 1904 production, and how key versions in England and America have created an iconic narrative that remains popular today.
This book charts the ‘awfully big adventure’ of creating Peter Pan, as well as the many entertaining, enthralling, and often extraordinary ways the play has been adapted ever since.
1 Developing Peter Pan for performance.
2 First performances.
3 Adapting Peter Pan.
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.