Peter Pan and The Lost Boys
© its-online 1997 - All rights reserved.

On April 5, 1960, a 63-year-old publisher named Peter Llewellyn Davies crossed London's Sloane Square, walked into the tube station and threw himself under a train. The next day there were headlines in the newspapers that read: Peter Pan killed by London Subway Train. Peter Pan Commits Suicide. The Boy Who Never Grew Up Is Dead. This was to be the last in a series of tragedies that surrounded the story of Peter Pan...

Di's Memorial - At Last!

Memorial for the "People's Princess" gets the Prime Minister's personal attention

Stuart MacWatt

... It took the Prime Minister Tony Blair to get things moving again. It was he who dubbed Diana "The Peoples Princess" in the days of shock immediately following her death, and it was he who galvanized the Memorial Committee back into action in September in belated response to the mounting public anger at the delay. Now, just three months after he stepped in, plans have been approved, budget earmarked, workforce engaged, completion date scheduled. Join me at the official opening of the London Diana Memorial in March 2000! Thank You Prime Minister. But we wish you had done this two years ago.
The proposed Memorial is very much in keeping with Princess Diana's love of children; an Adventure Playground. Budgeted at $2 million, the Park will be located in Kensington Palace Gardens, (no local objections this time around), and themed on Peter Pan. Appropriately enough J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan's creator, personally financed the first children's playground in Kensington Palace Gardens 90 years ago during the reign of King Edward VII, and a charming bronze statue of Peter Pan has been a focus there for generations of children, as I can personally attest. My mother took me there as a small child to feed the tame squirrels and birds hopping around it. And that was many years ago...



The Man Behind the Story

Barrie, Sir James (Matthew), Baronet

James Matthew Barrie 1860-1973

Urban Violence
by Susan Leigh
from The Peter Pan Study Guide

There is, in many of our stories for children, a spoken or unspoken moral lesson that is often brought to fruition by violence. Certainly, as many of our educational theorists have discovered, these kinds of structures exist in the stories of The Brothers Grimm, for example. I directed Snow White and Rose Red a few years ago in the playworks series. We did a lot of ethical wrestling with the violence in that story and how to portray it on-stage. Again, in Peter Pan, we have found that there is a lot of implied and explicit violence in Neverland, mostly coming from the pirates. We toyed with the idea of gleaning what we could from the text, but there are too
many direct references and we are not allowed to alter the script. So what we have done is come up with a representation that reality and fantasy in a modern way that we believe is in the spirit of the original and is also Grimm-like. Although there is violence, we hope it is not glamorized by our choices. We plan to show that these violent choices are all poorly made by the pirates, clearly the bad guys of the story and the losers of the play! We hop that it will be clear to all that because they have made bad choices, that's why they lose. We also hope that for older kids, there will be some interesting conversations sparked by this element. We know all to well that our kids are having to deal with this on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, it seems it's better to talk about it than to pretend it doesn't exist.