Peter Pan

Previewed 17 November 2016, Opened 2 December 2016, Closed 4 February 2017 at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Previewed 22 July 2019, Opened 27 July 2019, Closed 27 October 2019 at the Troubadour White City Theatre, White City, London

A major production of JM Barrie's Peter Pan in London in Sally Cookson's acclaimed staging

When leader of the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, loses his shadow during a visit to London, headstrong Wendy helps him re-attach it. In return she is invited to Neverland - where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await.

Sally Cookson's inventive staging is a funny and moving version of a much-loved story that is suitable for audiences of all ages.

This production comes to the new White City Theatre this summer, following an acclaimed run at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre during Christmas 2016.

The cast at the White City Theatre 2019 features John Pfumojena as 'Peter Pan', Shiv Rabheru as 'Tinkerbell', Alistair Toovey as 'John Darling', Daisy Maywood as 'Wendy Darling', Ammar Duffus as 'Michael Darling', Kelly Price as 'Captain Hook' / 'Mrs Darling', David Langham as 'Mr Darling' / 'Smee', Jessica Murrain as 'Tiger Lily', with Greg Bernstein, Matthew Churcher, Raffaella Covino, Josh Donovan, Jemma Geanaus, Philippa Hogg, Mark Kane, Richard Kent, Cora Kirk, Iniki Mariano, Loren O'Dair and Miles Paloma. Musicians: Nadine Lee, Harry Miller, Luke Potter and Jools Scott. Please note casting to subject to change without notice.

Directed by Sally Cookson with movement by Daniel Canham, aerial direction by Gwen Hales, sets by Michael Vale, costumes by Katie Sykes, puppetry by Toby Olie, lighting by Aideen Malone, music by Benji Bower, and sound by Dominic Bilkey. Based on the plays by JM Barrie and devied by the company with dramaturgy by Mike Akers.

John Pfumojena's London stage credits include the role of 'Sebastian' in Emma Rice's revival of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2017.

Daisy Maywood's West End stage credits include the role of 'Susan' in Marianne Elliott's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company at the Gielgud Theatre in 2018.

Ammar Duffus's London theatre credits include the role of 'Fabian' in Simon Godwin's revival of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 2017.

Kelly Price's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Countess Charlotte Malcolm' in Trevor Nunn's revival of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music at the Garrick Theatre in 2009; 'Ellen' in Thea Sharrock's revival of Moliere's The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre in 2009; and 'Roberta Glass' on Angus Jackson's production of the musical Desperately Seeking Susan at the Novello Theatre in 2007.

This production was originally seen in repertory at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre where it previewed from 17 November 2016, opened on 2 December 2016, and closed on 4 February 2017.

When this production opened at the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in December 2016, Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard described it as being "brimful of invention, innovation and fine flying... Sally Cookson is a notable director and she imbues this latest work with more of a melancholy tinge than we're used to... the sadness and pleasure of growing up is very much to the fore, especially given that 46-year-old Paul Hilton plays Peter... An appealing evening." Neil Norman in the Daily Express hailed "Sally Cookson's superb production... a pleasing collision between traditional and modern, this sets a new standard in aerial acrobatics as well as maintaining JM Barrie's balance between light and dark." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph said that it "takes some very inventive liberties... Peter Pan and co get attached to harnesses in plain sight and are hoisted aloft and even swung out into the auditorium with the help of crew members, who act as counterweights... The second bold stroke is that Captain Hook is played by an actress - who also doubles as Mrs Darling. This emphasises the fear Peter Pan has of yielding outright to feminine charms and the strict regimen of medicine-doling matriarchy." Ann Treneman in the Times comemnted that "it's magical, full of acrobatic prowess, pirate ships and voracious mermaids. It's a beguiling, if at times somewhat static, mix of song, circus and story." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times commented how "Sally Cookson's rich, nuanced production doesn't go that far, but it brings out that bittersweet tone and is streaked with nostalgia... and, as the production bowls through the story, the performances deftly bring out the psychological layers in the story." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper highlighted that "director Sally Cookson's account remains remarkably true to the spirit of J M Barrie's original... In this version's most audacious and suggestive stroke, there's a female Captain Hook, doubled with Mrs Darling... It's a twist that emphasises how fiercely Peter is opposed to mothers and their demands - the maternal principle is his deadliest enemy. Warmly recommended." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail thought that "the staging is daring, and the show is engaging when it is pantolike... but between bearded children and a war-torn set that looks like downtown Aleppo, this is a production that's trying too hard." Michael Billington in the Guardian praised how "pretty much everything goes right in this delightful version... The ultimate test is that it retains the sense of loss that lies at the work's heart. The key to Sally Cookson's approach is an inventive playfulness and a visible, nothing-up-your-sleeve magic... Although the keynote of this production is spirited exuberance, it is true to Barrie's melancholy point that you either remain trapped in permanent adolescence like Peter or mature into a conformist adulthood."

The cast at the NT's Olivier Theatre in December 2016 featured Paul Hilton as 'Peter Pan', Saikat Ahamed as 'Tinker Bell', Marc Antolin as 'John Darling', Madeleine Worrall as 'Wendy Darling', John Pfumojena as 'Michael Darling', Anna Francolini as 'Captain Hook' / 'Mrs Darling', Felix Hayes as 'Smee' / 'Mr Darling', and Lois Chimimba as 'Tiger Lily', with Suzanne Ahmet, Laura Cubitt, Phoebe Fildes, John Leader, Amaka Okafor, Ekow Quartey, Jessica Temple and Dan Wheeler. Musicians: Benji Bower, Will Bower, Richie Crago and Ruth Hammond. Note: Sophie Thompson was originally due to play the double role of 'Mrs Darling' and 'Captain Hook', but unfortunately she broke her wrist in rehearsals, and Anna Francolini stepped in at short notice to take over the two roles.

Peter Pan in London at the White City Theatre public previews from 22 July 2019, opens on 27 July 2019, and closes on 27 October 2019

London Revival 2015/2018 - Open Air Theatre Regent's Park

Previewed 15 May 2015, Opened 21 May 2015, Closed 14 June 2015 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in London
Previewed 17 May 2018, Opened 24 May 2018, Closed 15 June 2018 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in London

A major revival and discovery of J M Barrie's original play Peter Pan in London for a strictly limited season.

The return to London of Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel's acclaimed 2015 production. Imagination takes flight in this darkly comic tale, yet in an ever changing world, and without a mother's love, what place is there for the boy who wouldn't grow up?

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, in this spellbinding reinvention of Peter Pan.

Staged by the directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel, who rediscover JM Barrie's original stage play, to create a Never Land where danger stalks dreams and adventure breeds mischief. In this staging the play's era has been moved 10 years on from its original setting. Please note this is a production of the original play which runs for just over two hours and so is unlikely to be suitable for younger children (this is not a 'panto' version!).

The original 2015 cast featured Hiran Abeysekera as 'Peter Pan', Rachel Donovan as 'Tinker Bell', Patrick Osborne as 'John Darling', Kae Alexander as 'Wendy Darling', Thomas Dennis as 'Michael Darling', David Birrell as 'Captain Hook', and Beverly Rudd as 'Smee', with Rebecca Askew, Jacob James Beswick, George Bukhari, Okorie Chukwu, Eben Figueiredo, Owain Gwynn, Jonathan Holby, Richard James-Neale, Arthur Kyeyune, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Melanie Pappenheim, Thomas Pickles, Carl Prekopp, and Joe Swain.

The 2018 cast featured Sam Angell as 'Peter Pan', Elisa de Grey as 'Tinker Bell', Theo Cowan as 'John Darling', Cora Kirk as 'Wendy Darling', Omari Douglas as 'Michael Darling', Dennis Herdman as 'Captain Hook', and Caroline Deyga as 'Smee', with James Anthony-Rose, Raphael Bushay, Fred Davis, Emilio Diaz Abregu, Lewis Griffin, Willy Hudson, Luke Johnson, Arthur Kyeyune, Kyle Lima, Tim Preston, Louis Quaye, John Sandeman, and Rebecca Thorn.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel with puppetry by Rachael Canning, sets by Jon Bausor, costumes by Jon Morrell, lighting by Rick Fisher, music by Nick Powell and sound by Nick Lidster.

Presented by arrangement with the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Timothy Sheader is the Artistic Director of the Open Air Theatre where his credits have included William Golding's Lord of the Flies (2011, returning 2015), the Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (2014), Arthur Miller's All My Sons (2014), Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird (2013, returned 2014, returned Barbican Theatre 2015) and the Gershwin's Crazy For You (2011, transferred to Novello Theatre 2012). In the West End he directed the new musical Imagine This (New London Theatre 2008).

When this production opened at the Open Air Theatre in London's Regent's Park in May 2018 (previewed from 17 May 2018, opened on 24 May 2018, and closed on 15 June 2018), Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard commented that "watching Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel's ingenious, magical, occasionally musical and mournful spectacle unfold in the Regent's Park gloaming is thrilling. It's far more thoughtful and sophisticated a Peter Pan production than the pantomime excesses we're so often used to with this play, although there's fun and boisterousness, not to mention some fine flying too." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail explained how "this production firmly establishes a link with the misery of the Western Front. It opens in a wartime hospital ward and we soon see that its wounded soldiers are Barrie's 'Lost Boys'... The idea that we, as a country, neglected those lads who fought at the Somme and elsewhere has an immediate force - one I found rather moving. The tone is far from glum, though," in "an evening which will entrance families." Sam Marlowe in the Times praised this "rich, emotionally layered retelling of JM Barrie's classic about the boy who never grew up... a joyous show, bursting with vigour and imagination... its blend of wonder, poignancy and swashbuckling excitement should be enough to sweep adults and children alike off their feet." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph highlighted that "the genius of Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel's reading of Peter Pan is that it cross-fertilises the innocence of the pre-war years with the horrors that followed. In so doing, it celebrates and obliquely critiques Barrie's creation." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times described how "JM Barrie's material is framed by scenes in a first world war field hospital, underlining that the Lost Boys of the 1904 play are exact contemporaries of the Lost Generation of 1914-18... Everything feeds into the fantasy that takes over as Nurse Darling reads Peter Pan to a sightless patient." Neil Norman in the Daily Express said that "the Lost Boys meet the lost generation in the return of Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel's fantastic production where the story of JM Barrie's eternal boy Peter Pan is relocated to the Western Front of the First World War... From the opening scenes it is evident that this is a unique production. There are no concealed wires for the flying scenes or for the green fairy lights floating across the stage. Everything is exposed... A night of pure theatre and full of wonder."

When this production opened at the Open Air Theatre in London's Regent's Park in May 2015 (previewed from 15 May 2015, opened on 21 May 2015, and closed on 14 June 2015), Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard highlighted how "the story of Peter Pan, so often rendered in a cloyingly saccharine style, is radically re-imagined here," adding that "this physically inventive production by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel mixes an acute understanding of the darkness of J M Barrie's 1904 play with a majestic sense of spectacle... Jon Bausor's courageously raw design is crucial to this bold interpretation, which revitalises a tale too often treated merely as a pantomime staple." Holly Williams in the Independent wrote how "the familiar story is framed by scenes in a First World War field hospital evoked by a grey and raggedly deconstructed set... it's a nice concept, rather than an particularly fruitful one... but if the historical concepts don't always fly, the production happily does: this has family summer outing written all over it." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times explained that "young first world war soldiers are the Lost Boys in a heart-rending staging of JM Barrie's story... This superb Peter Pan is far removed from the thigh-slapping pantomime versions. It's sprightly, imaginative and terrific fun, but it is also immensely poignant... a cracker." Neil Norman in the Daily Express described how "the analogue theatricality here is pure stagecraft, from the rigging and sails hauled up to create the pirates' ship to the hospital beds piled up to represent hills and trenches," concluding that "this is a Peter Pan for grown-ups, a resonant, heartfelt and revealing production poised between the magic and the tragic." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail wrote "Tim Sheader's haunting new production is set in a military hospital during World War I. The idea is to remember the boys who inspired the role of Peter, but who were killed on the fields of France. Thankfully, it's no less enchanting, as the trip to Neverland becomes an escape from the bleak realities of the Somme." Dominic Maxwell in the Times commented that "the Lost Boys become the lost generation in this bold and often brilliant reinvention of JM Barrie's great creation," adding that in "Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel's fluid, physical production... it's beautifully played and admirably adventurous." Michael Billington in the Guardian said: "I admired the production's ingenuity while feeling it sacrificed the weird magic of Barrie's original... I am a little suspicious of the attempt to turn Barrie's play into a sophisticated variant on Oh What a Lovely War and endow it with a retrospective irony it cannot quite sustain." Claire Allfree in the Daily Telegraph hailed it as being a "terrific new production of JM Barrie's 1904 play... Typically of Timothy Sheader's work at Regent's Park, the production is drenched in magical, earthy delights... the elegant, poetic irony that shadows the action is unmistakable; it's a shimmering mix of dream and nightmare."

Peter Pan in London at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre previewed from 17 May 2018, opened on 24 May 2018 and closed on 15 June 2018

London Revival 2009 / 2010 - The Peter Pan Tent at Kensington Gardens and 02 Meridian Gardens

Previewed 26 May 2009, Opened 10 June 2009, Closed 13 September 2009 at Kensington Gardens
Returned 1 December 2009, Closed 10 January 2010 at the 02 Meridian Gardens

Peter Pan flies into The O2 - performed 'in-the-round' in a specially commissioned, state-of-the-art 1300 seat theatre-tent, this acclaimed production includes a breathtaking 360 degree projected scenic design. This production was previously seen over Summer 2009 in Kensignton Gardens, London.

Peter Pan promises to be a truly magical winter experience for adults and kids alike. Packed with surprises including a breathtaking 360 degree projected scenic design, this major production is conceived and staged by an award-winning creative team.

This brand new stage production of JM Barrie's Peter Pan in London in a version by Tanya Ronder was performed in a state-of-the-art 1,100 seater Neverland Pavilion in the North East corner of Kensington Gardens near Lancaster Gate Tube Station during the Summer of 2009.

Leader of the Lost Boys on the island of Neverland, Peter Pan makes regular visits to the real world where he befriends the Darling children - Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael - and takes them from London to Neverland for a series of fabulous adventures. Petulant fairy Tinkerbell, Red Indians and terrifying pirates, led by Peter's nemesis, the evil Captain Hook are all brought vividly to life in this brand new production that is sure to be this summer's theatrical event!

"Director Ben Harrison's lavish revival goes all out for spectacle, without entirely losing sight of Barrie's worries about adulthood and what makes a true mother - always leaving the windows open should an absent child decide to come home. Designer Bill Dudley has created a dazzling cyclorama above our heads on to which are projected views of London, Hook's pirate ship and the jungle of Neverland. The idea is that while looking up, we're actually looking down and swooping over the landscape like Peter and his friends... Ciaran Kellgren, a bigger, better-looking version of Daniel Radcliffe, gives us a Peter Pan who is part puckish sprite, part emotionally arrested child (when he ran away, his mother barred the windows). He wants to play at being the son - but never the lover - of Wendy Darling, the girl he adores. Abby Ford's Wendy is a strong and touching child-mother, and Jonathan Hyde doubles delightfully as a morose Old Etonian Hook and a devastated dad who has sent himself literally to the doghouse. They all shout too much at first, but once they settle, the show takes flight." The Mail on Sunday

With over 1000 seats in the round, the state-of-the-art auditorium will offer unimpeded views for everyone. No one in the audience will be more than a few rows from the stage, making this an intimate theatrical experience. William Dudley's groundbreaking set design uses sophisticated CGI technology where you'll be able to fly with Peter to Neverland, stand on the deck of Hook's ship, and soar high over Kensington Gardens in the heart of Edwardian London.

Peter Pan in London is directed by Ben Harrison with designs by William Dudley. Ben Harrison, a former associate director of the Almeida Theatre, is one of the world's leading exponents of site-specific theatre. The multi-Olivier Award winning William Dudley has worked regularly at the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and in the West End and he has an international reputation for his work creating 3D virtual environments. The story is adapted for this special stage production by Tanya Ronder whose adaptation include Vernon God Little for the Young Vic Theatre and Blood Wedding at the Almeida Theatre.

Peter Pan in London at The Peter Pan Tent in Kensington Gardens previewed from 26 May 2009, opened 10 June 2009 and closed 13 September 2009. Transferred to The Meridian Gardens at The O2, from 1 December 2009, closing 10 January 2010.

London Revival 2003 - Savoy Theatre

Previewed 15 December 2003, Opened 17 December 2003, Closed 7 March 2004 at the Savoy Theatre

Raymond Gubbay presents J M Barrie's original fantasy Peter Pan in London starring Anthony Head and directed by Steven Dexter - playing in repertory with The Pirates of Penzance.

All the wonders of the original fantasy for children are magically brought to life in this brand new production of J.M. Barrie's timeless classic for all the family. True to the original script join Peter, Wendy, John and Michael in the ultimate adventure for every child who never wants to grow up and for every parent who wishes they never had. With the safety of the nursery left far behind, fly across the stars to Never Land and enter Peter's enchanting world of make-believe where wishes come true, childhood innocence comes alive and dreams last for ever. Delight at the carefree band of Lost Boys who gambol amongst sparkling fairies, let your imagination run wild at boisterous Indian braves and mesmerising mermaids, tremble at dastardly pirates led by the villainous Captain Hook... and beware the ticking crocodile!

The show embraces all the important elements of a traditional production, featuring a cast of colourful characters, including Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily, the ticking crocodile, and of course the dastardly Captain Hook and his Pirate Band! The spectacular flying scenes and the great Pan-Hook fight, considered by many to be the most vital part of any Peter Pan, are guaranteed to take your breath away. This is the perfect Christmas entertainment for all the family, a chance for adults to relive their childhood memories through this magical new production and to introduce a new generation of children to the ultimate adventure that is Peter Pan. Age range: suitable for children aged 8 and above.

The cast featured Jack Blumenau as 'Peter Pan', Lorraine Chappell as 'Tinker Bell', Sam Mannox or Joe Prospero as 'John Darling', Katie Foster-Barnes as 'Wendy Darling', Jack Dedman or Alexander Rose as 'Michael Darling', Anthony Head as 'Captain Hook', Jack Chissick as 'Smee', Kathryn Evans as 'Mrs Darling', and David Burt as 'Mr Darling', with Bennett Andrews, Tom Ashton, Cezarah Bonner, Scott Cripps, Steve Elias, Hadley Fraser, Kristin Hellberg, Nick Holmes, Joanna Kirkland, Elin Wyn Lewis, Roy Litvin, Graham Martin, Mykal Rand, Amy Rogers and Leanne Rogers. Directed by Steven Dexter with choreography by Dawn Buckland, designs by Francis O'Connor, lighting by Andrew Bridge, music by John Rigby, and sound by Terry Jardin and Simon Baker.

Steven Dexter's West End credits include La Cava at the Victoria Palace Theatre 2000.

"The production's air of unreality is well-suited to this tale of make-believe, but Francis O'Connor's sets look decidedly cheap. The script has some slow, wordy interludes that make children fidget, and John Rigby's synthesizer music is horribly tinny. The cast manage to sprinkle a little sparkly fairy dust. Jack Blumenau satisfyingly brings out capering Peter's nasty streak, and Katie Foster-Barnes's sweet Wendy captures the sense of a girl on the cusp of womanhood... The pirates are jolly, and as Captain Hook, Anthony Head is highly entertaining... Despite some winning moments, though, this is a stodgy show that never conjures enough wonderment and exhilaration." The Times

"This plodding production at the Savoy Theatre pretends to be Barrie's original, which posed the question: should you put away childish things and submit to conformity and responsibility or retreat to Never Never Land and hang on to childhood for ever? But it's no more the real thing than a plastic Christmas tree, and a tatty, balding one at that... While Katie Foster-Barnes is a sweetly responsible Wendy and Jack Blumenau is perfectly competent as Peter, Anthony Head is not my cup of coffee as Captain Hook. He brings no more than a stammer to his bland, witless characterisation. Even the flying, in which each child seems stuck in their limited channel like a swimmer in a race, fails to thrill." The Mail On Sunday

"The jumble of scenes with the Lost Boys and the pirates in Never Land is confusingly directed. And all the children in this production are bland. Of the tale's darker, subtler depths there is precious little evidence. On the plus side, there's lots of flying, Nana the dog is cute, and smaller kids in the audience will no doubt find the show's panto-ish blend of adventure and cosiness watchable. But the weird, disturbing magic of J M Barrie's 100-year-old masterpiece is in pretty short supply and it's a shame." The Daily Express

"The best thing is Katie Foster-Barnes as Wendy. She is clear, spirited and appealing. Together with Kathryn Evans's excellent Mrs Darling she produces a genuine emotional gulp, and helps to restore the balance of a play for which the main selling point nowadays is almost always Captain Hook... The rest of Steven Dexter's production ranges from the no more than adequate to the inept. The action is muddled up - it is often hard to work out what is going on in the Neverland scenes - and the designs are insipid. " The Sunday Telegraph

Peter Pan in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 15 December 2003, opened on 17 December 2003 and closed on 7 March 2004 - played in repertory with The Pirates of Penzance.