As part of my ‘buy cheap tickets to go and see famous people’ campaign, I was lucky enough to see Peter and Alice staring Judi Dench. It was the best play I have ever seen. The play traced the lives of Peter Llewelyn Davies (aka Peter Pan) and Alice Hargreaves (aka Alice in Wonderland), and how these famous characters shadowed their every day.
What I loved so much about it was the psychological implications that it covered. These two children were focussed on by the authors to such an extent that they inspired these fantastical characters. It asked the question about if these relationships (between the young children and old authors) were entirely appropriate, and even if they were what on earth did the ‘fame’ do to these little children.
In a clever move, alongside the central characters of Peter and Alice there were also the characters they they inspired – confronting them with the larger than life opinions and stories. They also had J. M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll to provide the more sinister point of view. The combination of these six characters was absolutely spell binding.
My favourite part of the play was when Peter and Alice spoke of meeting new people, and how they were always slightly disappointed to not be meeting the book character. Such an expectation to have to meet in every new face.
I don’t know and/or care how true to life this play was, but I am very grateful to have seen it.