mon 11/11/2019

The Boy James, Southwark Playhouse | reviews, news & interviews

The Boy James, Southwark Playhouse

The Boy James, Southwark Playhouse

An evocative staging of JM Barrie’s loss of youth fails to take wing

Verbose Pan: Jethro Compton as the Boy in ‘The Boy James’Nicholas Coupe

We remember JM Barrie as the creator of Peter Pan, that quintessentially English fairy story which features Neverland, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, and where “to die would be an awfully big adventure”. Generations have embraced this mythical tale as an expression of the spirit of upper-class Deep England. Here the Victorians are us. But James Matthew Barrie himself was the child of a Scottish Calvinist working-class family, and is the subject of Alexander Wright’s play — a hit in Edinburgh last year — which aspires to be a kind of anti-myth.

Wright’s play is painfully fay and verbose, and by the end of the show I’d had my fill of “dreams pinned on butterflies”

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.