Neverland is a fine film starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin
Hoffman and Julie Christie. It
is based upon true-life events in the life of J. M. Barrie and his
creation of “Peter Pan”. However,
dramatic license was taken in several areas.
were actually five Llewelyn-Davies boys, not four.
The makers of the film decided that a baby in arms was too much of
a distraction from the storyline, and too much of a liability for
also decided that it would make for better tension and drama to have James
Barry invite 25 orphans to be part of the opening night audience, hoping
their youthful enthusiasm and acceptance would promote similar feelings in
the adult audience.
reality, the opening night audience did not contain 25 invited orphans.
It is unlikely there were any children in the audience.
Adults occupied the seats and judgemental theatre critics provided
their own brand of negativity to the atmosphere.
J.M. Barrie was terrified that this mass of maturity would not let
themselves by absorbed by his fantasy.
He had to ensure that when Peter Pan requests help to save the
fairy Tinkerbell, help was given. He
instructed the theatre orchestra to be prepared to clap as hard as they
possibly could to cover any lack of enthusiasm from the audience.
need not have worried. The
adults fell in love with the show and its magic, and when Peter Pan said
he needed the audience to clap to save Tinkerbell’s life, the audience
went wild, clapping as hard as any child.
J. M. Barrie managed to do what Peter Pan could do – he helped
people fly … and stay young forever.
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