Stage history of Peter Pan

Image: The cover illustration for Peter Pan and Wendy, 1915, author unknown. The image is in the public domain as an artistic work made available to the public before 1 January 1942.

On 27 December 1904, the first stage version of JM Barrie's Peter Pan opened at the Duke of York's Theatre, London.

The Manchester Guardian reported: 'Every second speech is a new invention, always unforeseen and almost always delightful. Even those who least relish it must admit that no such play was ever seen before on any stage. It is absolutely original — the product of a unique imagination.'

This opening production featured Nina Boucicault as Peter and Gerald du Maurier as Captain Hook and Mr Darling.

Gerald (father of Daphne du Maurier) had another connection to the play – his sister's five sons were the children who inspired JM Barrie to write the story in the first place.

Following its triumphant success, Peter Pan toured every year for the next ten years. Pauline Chase Played Peter from 1906 until 1914 in London, while Zena Dare toured the UK as Peter during most of that period.

Peter Pan on Broadway
In 1905, Barrie's producer Charles Frohman took Peter Pan to New York. Maude Adams took the title role and continued to play Peter intermittently for more than ten years.

Peter Pan reappeared on Broadway in 1924 with music by Jerome Kern.

In 1928, Eva LeGallienne both directed and played the role of Peter at the Civic Repertory Theatre, New York City.

The 1950 Broadway production featured music and lyrics composed by Leonard Bernstein, with horror film actor Boris Karloff playing both Mr Darling and Captain Hook.

Four years later, in 1954, the first full musical version Peter Pan opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York, directed by Jerome Robbins.

The RSC and Peter Pan 
John Caird and Trevor Nunn adapted and directed a new version of Peter Pan for the RSC in 1982, based on a wide variety of JM Barrie's original source material.

The play was first performed at the Barbican Theatre, London, on 11 December 1982 and ran through the Christmas season until 22 January 1983.

It featured Sheila Hancock as Mrs Darling, Joss Ackland as Mr Darling and Captain Hook, Miles Anderson as Peter Pan.

Image: The cover illustration for Peter Pan and Wendy, 1915, author unknown. Public domain.

Wendy and Peter Pan

adpated from novel by J M Barrie

Royal Shakespeare Theatre
10 Dec 2013 - 2 March 2014

Contact us & FAQs

Ticket Hotline

0844 800 1110
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm

Email newsletter

Sign up to email updates for the latest RSC news:

RSC Members

Already an RSC Member or Supporter? Sign in here.

Teaching Shakespeare