Wednesday, December 01, 2004

For Peter Pan scholars and fans

From The Independent Online Edition:
James Barrie wrote a sequel to his stage version of Peter Pan.
When the actress Hilda Trevelyan created the role of Wendy in the original production of Peter Pan, its creator J M Barrie was so smitten that he wrote a sequel just for her.

, effectively a final act to the story of the boy who never grew up, was performed for just one night in 1908 after the main play at the Duke of York's Theatre in London where Peter Pan had premiered four years before.

A celebration of the centenary of Peter Pan is underway in London. A rehearsed reading of Afterthought, " for the first time since [1908]," is planned for Saturday, December 18, at the Duke of York's Theatre. Famous actors who have performed in Peter Pan will gather for the performance. Two names caught my eye: Susannah Hampshire (Monarch of the Glen) who played Peter and Ron Moody (known for his role as Fagin in Oliver) who played Hook.

The following evening, the Chicken Shed Company is to present a gala performance of Peter Pan itself in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, to which Barrie gave the royalties of the work in an act of generosity from which it still benefits.

...unless you are the Walt Disney Co. whose Hyperion imprint published the bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson without the hospital's permission. Disney claims the copyright to the J.M. Barrie stories expired in the U.S. prior to 1998.

Lawyers for the hospital maintain that the charity is receiving nothing from the proceeds of the best seller. They state the "Great Ormond Street held the copyright to Peter Pan in the United States until 2023..." CNN reports.

Some more Peter Pan centenary links:
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Samuel French London
The British Theatre Guide

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