Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An Unexpectedly Successful Reading - Peter & Alice by John Logan

Well, it was a relief to have a play reading afternoon and for no-one attending for the last time!

We had hoped to do The History Boys today, but as we were reduced in numbers we switched to Peter and Alice by John Logan.

Peter and Alice is a reflection on how the lives of Peter Llewelyn Davis and Alice Liddell were affected by being the children behind the characters of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.  The pair met in 1932 at the opening of a Lewis Carroll Exhibition at Columbia University, and the play explores how their conversation might have gone and how their childhoods influenced their reality of growing old and their attitudes to it.  It was a surprisingly moving play, and many of us, although not all, enjoyed immersing ourselves in this one-act play and the way Peter, Alice, Carroll and Barrie's lives are intertwined with input from Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland and texts from their works.  I feel this is an inadequate summary of an interesting and challenging play!

If you were not with us and want to read the play please let me know  before I recycle the scripts!

Wikipedia makes interesting reading, and gives alternative views as to why Carroll and the Liddell family fell out. From this page you can click the link to pages for the four people involved:

It was a lucky chance: the play was chosen on the basis that it was for 7 actors and, more importantly, the film had starred Dame Judi and I had put my faith in her good taste! 

As a one-act play we found that having no interruptions to the text and each character being read by just one voice helped us to focus on the text and become more involved in the play.  Not something we will do regularly, but interesting and enjoyable for a change.

Ben Whishaw and Dame Judi Dench in Peter & Alice

Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll

Alice Liddell, aged 7, photographed by Charles Dodgson in 1860

Alice Hargreaves in 1932, aged 80

J. M. Barrie

The Original Lost Boys

Michael Llewelyn Davis - was he the 'real' original Peter Pan
Newspaper Report on the death of Michael

Peter as a child

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