News Jeremy Paxman announced what he thought the internet was really for during a segment on Wednesday night’s show

Jeremy Paxman announced what he thought the internet was really for during a segment on Wednesday night’s show

Greig gives Peter Pan a darker edge

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."

Boyd Tonkin: Pirate raids on the treasures of the past

The Week In Books

Best for literature lovers: Cévennes

You wouldn't have picked her out as the ideal holiday companion. Yes, she was pretty and petite, with soulful eyes and beguiling eyelashes. But Salomé was also narrow-minded, with a strident voice, crooked teeth, a curious body odour and a broad, hairy backside.

100 holiday ideas for 2010: Walks

Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of South America, is now accessible on a guided three-day trek with Journey Latin America (journeylatinamerica.com) which passes near to the Beagle Channel.

How Peter Pan grew up

As a riveting take on J M Barrie's classic prepares to take flight at the O2 this Christmas, Paul Taylor looks at how different adaptations of the tale have found hidden depths – and not a little tragedy

One Minute With: Eoin Colfer

Peter Pan, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

A Neverland that needs a sprinkle of faerie dust

First Impressions: Peter Pan, Duke Of York's Theatre (1904)

Two ideas underlie Mr Barrie's delightful new fantasy, Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up – the child's passion for make-believe, and the average little girl's maternal instinct. Harping on these two strings, the playwright himself makes-believe unflaggingly in an artfully artless, go-as-you-please play which has all the pretty inconsequence of an imaginative child's improvisation, all the wild extravagance of a youngster's dream. Like Moira Lonely, the latest Barrie heroine – Wendy Darling – loves "mothering" people, and so quickly accepts her mysterious boy-visitor's invitation to quit her comfortable nursery and tend the lost little lads who live motherless in Never Never Never Land.

The Female of the species, Vaudeville Theatre, London

That banshee wail you hear when the wind is in the northeast is the sound of the biter bit – Germaine Greer is very, very angry at the author of this play about a sixty-ish feminist scribbler (played by Eileen Atkins). Its action is inspired by the time Greer was, briefly, held hostage by a devotee. And that sound you hear from the Vaudeville is the audience roaring at the best Ayckbourn play Alan Ayckbourn never wrote. Joanna Murray-Smith has expanded the original incident into a chorus of demands for approval, apologies, explanations, relief, compensation, and closure. No one, it seems, can be satisfied, but, at the end, remarkably, all are happy, rolling in love, money, and taramasalata.

Michael de Larrabeiti: Creator of the Borribles

An author of impeccable, old-style Bohemian credentials, Michael de Larrabeiti with his best-known novel The Borribles brought class war into children's fiction as never before. A writer who turned his hand to many different genres, he was also a seasoned travel writer.

Peter Pan: El Musical, Garrick Theatre, London

Relations between England and Spain could have been greatly improved if our immigration officers had greeted the troupe of Peter Pan – El Musical with a famous phrase in their native tongue: "No pasaran." Instead, some misguided notion of cultural exchange sees this hybrid of JM Barrie and a tenth-rate Eighties disco in the West End.

Kensington Gardens, by Rodrigo Fresan (trans Natasha Wimmer)

A tale of JM Barrie and the real lost boys

Peter Pan, Duke of York's, London, 27 December 1904

A fantasy of wild, dreamy extravagance

Peter Pan, Grand Theatre, Leeds

A story for the child in all of us

Northern Ballet Theatre promises a magical Christmas adventure in Peter Pan
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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