Peter and Alice***** (Noel Coward Theatre, 22 March 2013)

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Theatre

photo-100In 1931, Peter Llewelyn Davies, in his mid-30s, met an 80 year old Alice Hargreaves (nee Liddell). Both were soured and disillusioned by tragedies in their lives, but they had one other thing in common. As children, they had been the inspirations for great fictional characters, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Drawing from this real life meeting, John Logan’s achingly beautiful new play expounds on the themes of adulthood and childhood, ageing and staying forever young, reality and fantasy. The two leading roles seem as if they could have been written for Ben Wishaw and Judi Dench, both are so perfect and so utterly magnificent. In flashback sequences, Derek Riddell (as JM Barrie) and Nicholas Farrell (as Lewis Carroll) are also excellent. Michael Grandage’s production is slick, the sets find Neverland in an Edwardian theatre and Wonderland in a vast library. It is an evening of superb writing, wonderful acting and visual splendour. West End theatre does not get much better than this.

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