PETER PAN by John Caird and Trevor Nunn
A WWII Re-Imagining of the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up
Concept, Costume, Scenic and Sound Design conceptual project completed for Final Graduate Design Studio at University of Washington
We begin in the Darling Nursery. The blackout curtains are pulled shut, tiny toy soldiers lay scattered about, and the radio is blaring report of more bombings in London. The fear of the imminent German invasion is strong. The Darling children are visited by their fairy story hero, Peter Pan, who flies with them through the perilous Blitz over London and into the safety and magic of Neverland; the quintessential storybook adventure paradise complete with Indians and Pirates.
The Darlings meet the Lost Boys (a group of British evacuees) and join their merry band. As they venture deeper into Neverland, the magic begins to wear off and fearful images of the war invade: Mermaids singing through gas masks and the Lost Boys' once whimsical home turns into a bleak Anderson shelter. The Lost Boys find themselves dressed in striped pyjamas and kidnapped by the now Nazi pirates. Any remains of childhood imagination is gone.
20 years later. The Darling Nursery, the room has barely changed, but for its inhabitants. The radio is reporting news of the civil unrest in Ireland. A grown Wendy had just put her daughter, Jane, to bed when she sees a familiar face at the window. As a child, she knew him as Peter Pan, but now she sees him as he has always been: the small refugee boys whose childhood was taken away.