Greig gives Peter Pan a darker edge
Friday 23 April 2010
If you think about it," says playwright David Greig of the new version of JM Barrie's classic fairy-tale he has authored for the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), "Peter Pan is the story of a very middle-class girl on the cusp of adulthood. In through her bedroom window climbs a runaway boy, a feral child, who says to this girl, 'come with me to an underworld, run away from home and join me in another land.' He's attractive, he's magical, but she isn't allowed to touch him. Yet still she chooses to follow. Now when I think of how I would cast and play that story, it wouldn't be Bonnie Langford in tights."
Speaking from the NTS's rehearsal space in Govan, Greig – whose plays include Damascus, San Diego and last year's Edinburgh hit Midsummer (A Play With Songs) – enthuses about the size and ambition of this, the organisation's big spring show.
John Tiffany, who took control of the NTS's breakout hit, Black Watch, instigated this project. But rather than blithely trying to recreate the "once in a generation" success of Tiffany's most famous play, Greig asserts their intention to create something new and powerful on its own terms, and to reclaim the tale as a Scots one. Barrie was from Kirriemuir.
The movement of the framing scenes from Edwardian to Victorian England is intended to give the play a darker edge. "The problem with a lot of work for children is that it's actually work for parents," says Greig, "in that it tells them children are sweet and innocent, and that they never worry about love or death, are never attracted by violence, never feel fear. The whole family goes along and everyone's happy – aside from the children, who are bored witless. So I don't think we've created a Peter Pan for adults: I think we've truly reclaimed it for children."
To 8 May, King's Theatre, Glasgow; 12 to 29 May, Barbican Centre, London; then on national tour (nationaltheatrescotland.com)
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Pixie Geldof signs recording deal with Stranger Records
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners