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Peter Pan and Susan: Lost Children from Juliet to Michael Jackson

  • Simon Trussler
Abstract

As the two articles following this amplify, whatever one's views of its intrinsic merits, J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan is open to a multiplicity of readings, and (notably since the RSC broke the mould in 1982) of stage interpretations – not to mention its co-option into Walt Disney's cartoon canon. Simon Trussler takes the play for a spin in such unaccustomed company as Romeo and Juliet and the almost contemporaneous ‘tragedy of childhood’ by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening, exploring the theme it sustains of betrayed childhoods, surrogate parenting, and changing attitudes towards grown men sleeping with small boys – a magical experience for Barrie, but much less comfortable for the singer Michael Jackson in his ranch called…Neverland. Simon Trussler is Co-Editor of New Theatre Quarterly and presently Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Rose Bruford College. His numerous books on drama and theatre include Shakespearean Concepts (Methuen, 1989), the award-winning Cambridge Illustrated History of British Theatre (1993), The Faber Pocket Guide to Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (2006), and Will's Will: the Lives and Last Wishes of William Shakespeare (National Archives, 2007).

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New Theatre Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0266-464X
  • EISSN: 1474-0613
  • URL: /core/journals/new-theatre-quarterly
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