Finding Neverland

The San Salvador - My Stand-in for a Pirate Ship

The San Salvador – My Stand-in for a Pirate Ship

We saw Finding Neverland that is now playing at the Fox. This is the musical stage version of this story, which is different from the movie version by the same title. Both works are in turned inspired from the 1998 play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. They all tell the back story of J.M. Barrie’s writing of the children’s classic Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. At the beginning of the 20th-century, Barrie was a successful London playwright, who is unfortunately now stuck in a rut. His last play was panned and his current project is even more derivative than the last. On a rare sunny London day, in Kensington Gardens, Barrie meets the Llewelyn Davies boys, who are playing in the park. A friendship soon develops. The children’s imagination becomes his source of inspiration for Peter Pan. There is a play within a play, several actually and many songs. With our planned trip there, we were especially pleased with the opening number, “Welcome to London”. Many of the fictional characters in Peter Pan have real world counterparts. There is Peter Llewelyn Davies for Pan. His brothers double as the lost boys and the Darlings. Sylvia, the boys’ mother naturally stands-in for Wendy. Barrie’s producer plays Captain Hook, with his personal assistant as Smee. The part of Tinker Bell was played by an LED light and we did have to clap for her too. The play boasts high production values, in costumes, scenery and special effects. All is not frivolity and make-believe in Neverland. Barrie, Sylvia and Peter all face tragedy, but as you might suspect a happy ending ties up all these untidy loose ends neatly in a bow. Life is so much easier, if you don’t have to grow up.

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