Peter Pan

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

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

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?

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 around two hours and 30 minutes so is unlikely to be suitable for younger children (this is not a 'panto' version!). Children under four cannot be admitted to the show.

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 here at the Open Air Theatre in May 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."

The weather Every theatre performance is unique, but this is especially the case here at the Open Air Theatre where both stage and auditorium seating are uncovered. It is therefore best to come prepared for all types of weather. It is particularly important to bring a jumper for the end of evening performances. Bad weather may mean that performances have to be stopped and be re-started but, on average, 94% of performances are completed each season. In the event that the performance is abandoned due to bad weather, no refunds are given, but you can exchange your tickets for a future performance. Please speak to a member of staff on the evening.

Peter Pan in London at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre previewed from 15 May 2015, opened on 21 May 2015 and closed on 14 June 2015


Peter Pan - 2009 and 2010

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

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!

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.


Peter Pan - 2003

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

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 for this production of Peter Pan in London stars Anthony Head as 'Captain Hook' along with Kathryn Evans as 'Mrs Darling', Jack Chissick as 'Smee', David Burt as 'Mr Darling', Jack Blumenau as 'Peter Pan', Katie Foster-Barnes as 'Wendy' and Elin Wyn Lewis as 'Eliza'. It is directed by Steven Dexter with designs by Francis O'Connor and lighting by Andrew Bridge.

"From the moment the ruched blue curtain rises on the Darlings' Edwardian nursery, it's clear that we are never intended to forget that this is theatre. More curtains, this time cardboard cutouts, hang above the stage and later become the waves of the lagoon in which the Neverland mermaids frolic... 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. It might charm and amuse intermittently, but it's unlikely to leave anyone believing in fairies." The Times

"This plodding production at the Savoy 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, star of the Gold Blend ads in the Eighties, 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

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.