Author Topic: My PETER PAN poster controversy  (Read 4962 times)

mikey2573

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My PETER PAN poster controversy
« on: October 30, 2009, 02:23:57 AM »
So we finally got our poster for River Theater's production of PETER PAN designed.  As one of the show's directors, I was asked what I thought.  The poster has a beautiful silhoutte of Peter, sword raised flying against a full moon with a pirate ship below.  Underneath it says River Theater Co. Presents Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

Well, my only problem with the poster was that I thought it should say River Theater Presents J. M. Barrie's PETER PAN adapted by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.  I thought it was disrespectful to Barrie to have his name on the same line with Nunn and Caird.  After all, the work is HIS.  He did create PETER PAN --Caird and Nunn just took the bits and pieces from his various versions and strung them together (a little awkwardly, I must admit).  People argued that you usually do not want too much "stuff" above the title, but I put my foot down and said the poster MUST say J. M. Barrie's PETER PAN. So guess what?  That is what the poster is going to say. I stuck up for Barrie tonight and I am quite proud of myself!

Westh76

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Re: My PETER PAN poster controversy
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 08:24:04 AM »
Well done for sticking to your guns!  I'm sorry I won't be able to see it (as I live in London) but hope your production is a great success.

TheWendybird

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Re: My PETER PAN poster controversy
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 05:10:31 PM »
I'm always curious about this version.what exactly did they change?

JAQ

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Re: My PETER PAN poster controversy
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 05:24:56 PM »
I haven't had a chance to do a side-by-side reading of Nunn and Caird's version with JMB's published version, but apparently they were trying to distill a single version from the various versions produced by JMB between 1904 and 1928... kind of a "studio cut" since the "director" kept changing his mind.

Oh, and they de-contraction-ed the play's subtitle: "The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up".  Probably just a clerical error, but it helps me to distinguish between the versions by name.

andrew

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Re: My PETER PAN poster controversy
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2009, 12:36:16 PM »
I worked with Trevor Nunn (and latterly John Caird) on their 1983 adaptation, to the extent that I spent several afternoons chewing the cud with them, loaned them a side-by-side paste-up of Anon: A Play, the various preliminary drafts, the 1904 rehearsal script, 1905 draft, 1911 novel and 1920 screenplay, and argued with a few of their final choices.

My main criticism was (and remains) vocalising Barrie's stage directions via a Barriesque Narrator standing in the wings. Here one should mention that there are 2 different published versions of the stage play: one published by Samuel French, with technical stage directions for the benefit of amateur productions, and another (published in 1928) intended for the general reader, with often long and fanciful descriptions aimed at visualising the stage production in the mind's eye. It was from this latter version that Nunn and Caird culled the Narrator's dialogue - which more often than not simply duplicated what the audience was watching on stage. To have both seemed to me like guilding the lily...

« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 12:39:13 PM by Andrew »

mikey2573

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Re: My PETER PAN poster controversy
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2010, 10:10:21 PM »
Boy, did you nail it on the head, Andrew.  That was one of my biggest problems with the Nunn?Caird version.  They kept describing things we were already SEEING!! Why spend so much time describing Hook when he is standing right in front of everyone? I don't mind having a Barriesque narrator, but they went way overboard --even describing how characters enter. 
I was told we weren't allowed to cut, but we did cut a few things.  I INSISTED on them cutting the narration from the final scene, where the narrator essentially tells the audience that Wendy has grown up.  I wanted the audience to find out at the same time Peter did --when Wendy rises from her chair by the fire.  So we cut all that stuff about what happened to all the Lost Boys when they grew up as well.

I did feel that the act after they build Wendy's house ended rather abruptly.  So I staged one of Peter's nightmare's at the end of that act.  And I stole a few lines from Andrew's THE LOST BOYS teleplay (where Michael is having his nightmare) and gave them to Peter to call out in his sleep.  It was something like, "Come out!! I'm not afraid of you! I'm not afraid of anything!" Then the narrator essentially went over and comforted Peter in his sleep and the lights went down.  It was actually pretty effective and gave that act a more defintive (and moving/disturbing) ending.