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Peter Pan flies into Kensington Gardens

Published 23 January 2009

Peter Pan, the famous tale of a boy who didn’t grow up, is to receive a new adaptation to be staged in a tent in Kensington Gardens this summer.

The new production, written by Tanya Ronder, plays at a site to the north east of Kensington Gardens from 26 May to 30 August and features a 360 degree projected set using CGI technology.

The venue has special significance for the story. The Royal Park is where Peter Pan creator JM Barrie first met the Llewelyn Davies family, the inspiration for Peter Pan’s adventures, and features in his first story about the flying boy, The Little White Bird.

The production, which is to be staged in a 1,100-seat rain-proof tent complete with bar, restaurant and picnic facilities, is directed by former Almeida theatre Associate Director Ben Harrison, who specialises in producing site specific theatre. With Scottish theatre company Grid Iron he has previously staged productions in the land and air around a working airport (Roam), an aircraft hangar at Den Helder Airport (Night Flight), an abandoned Edinburgh plague vault (The Bloody Chamber) and the abandoned wards of an East End hospital (Ghost Ward).

Working alongside Harrison is seven-time Laurence Olivier Award winner William Dudley, a designer who has collected more Olivier statuettes than any other theatre professional except Dame Judi Dench. Among his award-winning productions at the National Theatre, Royal Court and across the West End are Hitchcock Blonde, All My Sons, Amadeus, The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice and The Merry Wives Of Windsor.

Writer Ronder has a history of adapting pieces for the stage. Her previous work includes the Young Vic’s Vernon God Little, which was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award last year, and Blood Wedding at the Almeida theatre.

MA

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