Act One

Prologue: Kensington Gardens

Wendy finds the light. Coat and cap, pulling on mittens. She has a look; a kind of glow; on the edge of greatness, but still a child.

Mrs. Darling | (Off) Wendy, darling. Hurry along now, please.

She does. It begins to snow. The light shifts – fading afternoon, Kensington Gardens, grey clouds and sleeping trees.

 

A procession of Darlings: dog barking, little Michael (“Come on, Nana!”) with his long red scarf; proper John in his top hat; Mrs. Darling and her basket; last of all, Wendy, with an armful of parcels. Braving the weather; a customary walk, hail or shine. Few fellow travellers, rugged up and warm. A gang of rough boys enter, hurly burly and polite disapproval.

 

Wendy is jostled. Her parcel falls. One boy stops, retrieves it, meets her eye. A moment of connection. It passes. The boy runs off. Wendy watches him go.

Mrs. Darling | Hurry along please, Wendy!

A clock strikes six.

Scene One: The Darlings'

Scene shift to a children’s playroom. The procession of Darlings enter.

Mrs. Darling | Galoshes please, Michael! We’re civilized people, not animals, are we not?

 

Michael | Nana’s civilized!

 

John | She doesn’t wear galoshes.

 

Mrs. Darling | Coats as well, please, John. Let’s not sodden the rug.

 

John | Aye aye, captain. Hop to it, Mike, quick march now, double time.

 

Mrs. Darling | My word, it’s cold as Blackfriars in here. Wendy dear, would you see about that draft?

 

Wendy | The window’s ajar.

 

Mrs. Darling | Children, what have I said about that window?

 

John/Michael | Sorry, mother.

 

Wendy | I could’ve sworn I’d left it closed.

 

Mrs. Darling | Oh dear, loves, the time has gotten away from us. John, draw some water from the bathroom, please. We’ve urgent business scrubbing the carrots from your brother’s ears.

 

Michael | Not the carrots!

 

Mrs. Darling | Wendy, be a dear and put your father’s package in the toy-chest. You know how he’s a terrible snoop. Wendy? Wendy dear?

 

Wendy | Hmm? Oh yes mother, of course.

 

Mrs. Darling | Are you alright, my darling? You haven’t caught a chill?

 

Wendy | Just tired, I think. The window has me perplexed.

 

Mrs. Darling | Still, you’re rather warm. Out of those damp clothes, please, and into your dressing gown. (John, with a jug and basin) Ah, thank-you, John.

 

John | Be most careful please, mother, it’s scalding!

 

Mrs. Darling | Hotter than the fires of Pompeii, no doubt.

 

John | Whoosh! Kerr-ash! The city’s all ablaze, lickety-split.

 

Mrs. Darling | Come, Michael, prepare thy ears for carrot inspection.

 

Michael | Please, mother, surely I’ll be burned to crispness!

 

Wendy | Nonsense, Michael. The might of Vesuvius has no power on the Tyrrhenian sea. (Pours steaming water into the basin) See how the valiant captain tacks his ship from lee to lee, deftly steering beyond the jagged reef?

 

Michael | I do, Wendy. Do you see it, mother?

 

Mrs. Darling | Naturally, my dear.

 

John | Such a tempestuous sea! I’m turned green at the sight!

 

Wendy | I hope there aren’t pirates.

 

Michael | Pirates, Wendy? Oh do say there aren’t pirates, mother.

 

Mrs. Darling | A pirate captain has twice the panache of any seafaring old dog. If anyone can steer a course through the tempest, it’s surely Blackbeard himself.

 

Wendy | Or his black hearted second, a man equally twisted enough for the task.

 

John | Who dares stand as Blackbeard’s second?

 

Wendy | Oh, a frightful barnacle of a man, elegant and vile. I forget his name.

 

John | En guard, Blackbeard! Tis I, your mysterious second! Stand fast, thou Queen Anne’s Revenge, and prepare for cannonade!

 

Wendy | En guard!

 

Mr. Darling | (Entering) Dang and blast it! Oh - here you are, Mary.

 

Mrs. Darling | Whatever’s the matter, George dear?

 

Mr. Darling | Matter? This tie is the matter! This tie will not tie. Not around my neck; around the bedpost… Oh yes – twenty times have I made it up around the bedpost, but around my neck? Oh dear no. Dang and blast it…

 

Michael | Dang and blast it, dang and blast it!

 

Mr. Darling | Thank-you, Michael, that’s quite enough.

 

Mrs. Darling | It’s only a tie, George dear.

 

Mr. Darling | I warn you, Mary, that unless this tie is around my neck, we don’t go out to dinner tonight; and if we don’t go out to dinner tonight, I’ll never go to the office again; and if I don’t go to the office again, you and I will starve, and our children will be thrown into the streets… (John and Wendy are fencing still) I say, a little less noise there, please…

 

John | Father, Wendy makes a terrible pirate!

 

Wendy | Blackbeard’s second always was the jealous sort…

 

Mr. Darling | A little less noise, I said, I feel a headache coming on.

 

Mrs. Darling | You do have a somewhat Tussauds countenance, I must say. Rather waxen.

 

Mr. Darling | Laugh if you must, Mary, but this is serious! The First National Bank is far removed from the nursery. I should hardly think you could appreciate my predicament.

 

Mrs. Darling | Less children there, I suppose, though on balance, an equal amount of tantrums?

 

John | Here here!

 

Mr. Darling | Is that supposed to be funny?

 

Mrs. Darling | You’ve often observed I’ve a capital sense of humour.

 

Mr. Darling | For children, perhaps. And speaking of children… (They are making a ruckus) The children indeed! (They fall silent, guilty) They should be making ready for bed, or else we’ll never ever leave, confound it...

 

Mrs. Darling | As your father says, children. Time for bed.

 

Wendy | But mother…

 

Mrs. Darling | Father commands. He runs a bank, don’t you know? John, fix your sheet. Michael, where’s your medicine?

 

Michael | I won’t take it.

 

Mr. Darling | Bad form, Michael. Be a man.

 

Michael | Won’t.

 

Mrs. Darling | You’ll get a lovely chocky to take after.

 

Mr. Darling | For heaven’s sake, don’t pamper him, Mary. When I was your age, Michael, I took medicine without a murmur. I said, ‘Thank-you, kind parents, for giving me medicine to make me well.’

 

Michael | Shan’t.

  

Mr. Darling | Michael, you’ll take your medicine, and that’s a fact. No more chocolates, Mary. No more coddling. I shan’t indulgence this… childish nonsense… a moment longer.

 

Mrs. Darling | They’re children, George. Why shouldn’t they be childish?

 

John | It’s true, father.

 

Wendy | We’re only children.

 

Mr. Darling | Absurd! No children of mine will be labeled as so. Confound these buttons… (He leaves)

 

Wendy | I hope father isn’t too upset with us.

 

John | I’d wager Saint Nick could give him two full stockings and he’d still be upset...

 

Michael | Do you really have to leave us, mother?

 

Mrs. Darling | Just for a short while, my dear. Tonight’s dinner is important to your father.

 

Wendy | But we were so looking forward to your recital, mother.

 

Mrs. Darling | Another time, my dears. The beauty of Bach is that he’s always in fashion, whatever the ticker-tape may say.

Wendy | Play for us, at least?

Mrs. Darling | When time permits. I promise.

 

Michael | Mother, tell us a story.

 

John | Indeed, mother, a story then before you go!

 

Mr. Darling | (Off) Mary, where have you put my new fob? It’s not on the mantle!

 

Mrs. Darling | I’m afraid I’ve little time to do a story justice. But perhaps Wendy might oblige? She is by far the greatest teller of tales I’ve the pleasure to be acquainted with.

 

Michael | Please Wendy, a story!

 

Wendy | Would a mystery suffice?

 

John | What sort of mystery?

 

Wendy | Why, one that happened this very morning, in this very room, about this very window. But mother, I wonder if they shouldn’t be frightened to hear it. They are only boys, after all.

 

Mrs. Darling | But they are rugged boys, and brave to a man. Perhaps they can stand to hear all about the window?

 

John | The window? What window?

 

Wendy | The nursery window, of course, and in the same manner as we found it now – slightly ajar, and yet no one to jar it. (She moves to the window) You might wonder as to why, as we did just now, and you would be right to wonder… for you could not have seen what I saw beyond it when I awoke this morning to a curious sound at the latch.

 

Michael | A sound?

 

John | What sort of sound?

 

Mrs. Darling | A scraping, and a knocking, and a tapping all at once – as if something or other sought entrance from outside.

 

Wendy | Indeed. And no sooner had I risen to investigate than I saw the unlikely source. A face at the window!

 

John | A face at the window!

 

Michael | A wicked face?

 

Wendy | The face of a boy, trying to get in.

 

John | Zooks! Did he succeed?

 

Wendy | Not on this occasion, for once he was discovered, the boy leapt for the window! I quickly pulled down the sash, but was too late to catch him.

 

John | Blimey! I’d have given him what for.

 

Wendy | Of course, the boy escaped, but not without some small injury. You see, his shadow had not the time to get out behind him – down came the window sash and cut it clean off!

 

Michael | Is it really, Wendy?

 

Wendy | It’s rolled up in the bottom draw, neat as you like.

 

John | Mother, is this true?

 

Mrs. Darling | I shouldn’t think it matters, my dear - it remains an awfully ripping story.

 

Mr. Darling | (Entering) Mary, confound this infernal jacket! I’ve a mind to tear off its seams and to hell with the whole thing…

 

Michael | Mother, may we see it? Please?

 

Mr. Darling | Eh? See what?

 

John | The boy’s shadow! It’s in Wendy’s draw!

 

Mr. Darling | Mary, why aren’t these children to bed? What’s this nonsense about shadows? Wendy, come away from that damn window, you’ll catch your death. Mary, please, the coach is waiting...

 

John | But father, you can’t go yet!

 

Michael | The boy might come back!

 

Mr. Darling | Boy? What boy?

 

Wendy | Why, the boy at the window, father.

 

Mr. Darling | Boys at windows? Ridiculous! And how might he have got there, hm? Did he sprout wings and fly? Wendy, you are filling these children with hocus pocus nonsense; a girl of your age, I should think it beneath you!

 

Wendy | Sorry, father.

 

Mr. Darling | And blast it, Mary, look at the time! Mary, I shall bring you your coat, but put these children to bed. Now! (Whirls and exits)

 

Wendy | Father is frightfully rude sometimes.

 

John | I plan to be hopelessly rude when I grow up!

 

Mrs. Darling | Jonathan Darling, you’ll do no such thing. I forbid it, lest I never speak with you again.

 

Michael | But mother, what about the boy? What about his shadow? Will he come back for it, do you think?

 

John | I’ll give him what for if he does!

 

Mr. Darling | (Off) Mary, we’re leaving! Now!

 

Mrs. Darling | To bed with you all, at last, or else your father will be cross with us. I’ll leave the night-lights burning, and no harm will come to you. They are the eyes a mother leaves behind to guard her children.

 

Michael | Mother, I’m glad of you.

 

Mrs. Darling | Good night, my dears. Burn clear, night-lights – burn clear and steadfast tonight. (She leaves)

Scene Two: The Boy & The Shadow

The nursery is dark but for a torch held in Wendy’s lap. She reads a book.

 

Wendy | It’s strange to think that Cinderella should wish for silk garters and lace when she was a deft hand at sewing. I should think her fairy godmother could have granted a more permanent escape from her grief. Why, a long trip to the country would have served her better. People make such poor use of good wishes. (Turns out the light)

 

Silence. Faint sounds of bells in the dark. Then… a commotion. Sounds of crying. Wendy wakes, turns her flashlight towards the sound: a boy on the nursery floor, unearthly and mysterious.

 

Wendy | You!

 

Peter | Who?

 

Wendy | From the window! Could you really be? I suppose you must. But… you, boy – why are you crying?

 

Peter | (Caught) Crying? I’m not crying. I don’t cry. I can’t.

 

Wendy | You can’t?

 

Peter | I never have. Who are you?

 

Wendy | Wendy Moira Angela Darling. Who are you?

 

Peter | Peter. Peter Pan.

 

Wendy | Is that all?

 

Peter | Yes.

 

Wendy | I’m very sorry to hear that.

 

Peter | I’m never sorry.

 

Wendy | You can in through the window. It was your face I saw there, wasn’t it? (No reply) Your face, or one much like it… (Looking at him) I say, you’re dressed rather cavalier for a night such as this. Aren’t you cold? (Peter shakes his head) Where do you live?

 

Peter | Second star to the right and then straight on till morning.

 

Wendy | That’s a funny address.

 

Peter | Is not.

 

Wendy | I mean, is that what people put on your letters?

 

Peter | Don’t get any letters.

 

Wendy | Not even from your mother?

 

Peter | Don’t got a mother.

 

Wendy | No wonder you were crying.

 

Peter | Wasn’t crying. I just… can’t get my shadow to stick back on…

 

Wendy | Your shadow? Oh my… Of course! It came off in the window. How awful.

 

Peter | Useless, stupid, stupid, thing.

 

Wendy | Well that won’t work, will it? You’re trying to stick it on with soap! It must be sewn on.

 

Peter | What is ‘sewn’?

 

Wendy | Oh my, you are dreadfully ignorant.

 

Peter | I’m not.

 

Wendy | I’ll sew it for you, but we must have more light. Come here… (She reaches for him)

 

Peter | Don’t.

 

Wendy | What?

 

Peter | You mustn’t touch me. No one must ever touch me.

 

Wendy | Why not? (No reply) Fine. Sit here. I dare say it will hurt a little… (Wendy begins to sew Peter’s shadow to his heel) Hmm… Perhaps I should have ironed it…

 

Peter | (It is done) Ah ha! Oh Wendy, look! My shadow! Oh, the cleverness of me!

 

Wendy | Oh, and of course I did nothing, did I?

 

Peter | You did a little.

 

Wendy | A little? The nerve! (Turns her back on him)

 

Peter | I can’t help crowing, Wendy, when I’m pleased with myself... which is often. In fact, I hardly ever stop! (Wendy, unmoved) You don’t think I’m so impressive?

 

Wendy | I should think it more impressive for a boy to have some manners.

 

Peter | Is that what you need? (Jumping onto the toy chest) Then thank you, Wendy, thank you! Thank you, dearest Wendy, from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for your sewing, for your cleverness and wit! I should think it right and true that one girl is worth more than twenty boys if she proved as smart as you!

 

Wendy | You really think so?

 

Peter | I do. And because I think it, it must be so.

 

Wendy | You said you came in through the window, but I can hardly think that’s true.

 

Peter | (Angry) Are you saying that I lie?

 

Wendy | But Peter, we’re as high up as a church steeple! How ever did you reach it?

 

Peter | I flew.

 

Wendy | Curiouser and curiouser. Peter, I’m beginning to think you aren’t half magic.

 

Peter | Magic, like in your stories? The magic of the wizard’s sword, and the genie in the copper lamp?

 

Wendy | Just the same. How did you come by them?

 

Peter | I’ve listened at your nursery window, but you’ve never seen me. I’m very secret, and very good. I like to hear more stories. None of us knows any stories.

 

Wendy | No stories at all? How perfectly awful!

 

Peter | Wendy, tell me: the story of the Prince, and the lady who wore the glass slipper. Did he find her? Was there a fight?

 

Wendy | Oh, dear Cinderella! Of course, Peter, her prince found her, and they lived happily ever after… although from no small coincidence, I might add.

 

Peter | Well, I am glad, even if there was no fight. (Moves to leave)

 

Wendy | Where are you going?

 

Peter | To tell the Lost Boys. They’ve got to know.

 

Wendy | There are lost boys where you’re from?

 

Peter | Of course. Everything’s lost where I come from.

 

Wendy | Peter, I know lots of stories, you know. Oh, the stories I could tell you and the boys of this… Never Neverland…

 

Peter | Stories? What sort of stories?

 

Wendy | All sorts, of course. Stories of mermaids and pirates, dwarfs and wicked kings, pixies and ferocious dragons.

 

Peter | Of wonderful boys, who never grow up and always have fun, forever unending?

 

Wendy | Well… forever is an awfully long time…

 

Peter | (He is very close to her) Do you promise?

 

Wendy | Forever unending: I swear it on my thimble.

 

Peter | Then come with me. We’ll fly!

 

Wendy | Can you really fly?

 

Peter | I can do anything. Wendy, come with me.

  

Wendy | I should awfully like to see this place of lost things. There are jungles, no doubt, and mermaid lagoons?

 

Peter | Mermaids and Indians and fairies and pirates!

 

Wendy | Pirates! Is this true?

 

Peter | Shipfuls of pirates, keel-fuls of pirates.

 

Wendy | And their leader, the worst of them?

 

Peter | Sworn enemy of the mighty Pan.

 

Wendy | Captain Hook!

 

Peter | Yes, Captain Hook! Oh, come with me, Wendy, and tell us your stories. I’ll teach you to fly, and to fight, and to crow. You’ll be the wonder of our Never Never Land.

 

Wendy | Yes Peter, please! May we go?

 

Peter | If you’ve dreamed of it, Wendy, then you’re already there.

 

Lights crash, darkness.

Scene Three: The Jolly Roger

A mighty sail unfurls, floor to ceiling, stage left to right; the skull and crossed-bones emblazoned, sigil of the fearsome Jolly Roger. Lit by lanterns, swinging, not long before dawn.

 

Pirates | (Entering, swabbing the deck, singing to the tune of ‘Roll The Old Chariot’)

 

Oh, to sail among the tides wouldn’t do us any harm

(Oh, to sail among the tides wouldn’t do us any harm)

Oh, to sail among the tides wouldn’t do us any harm

And we all sail on behind.

 

Oh, a drop of Nelson’s blood wouldn’t do us any harm

(Oh, a drop of Nelson’s blood wouldn’t do us any harm)

Oh, a drop of Nelson’s blood wouldn’t do us any harm

And we all drink on behind.

 

So we’ll ro-o-oll the old chariot along

An’ we’ll roll the golden chariot along

So we’ll ro-o-oll the old chariot along

And we’ll all hang on behind.

 

Oh, a walk along the plank wouldn’t do us any harm

(Oh, a walk along the plank wouldn’t do us any harm)

Oh, a walk along the plank wouldn’t do us any harm

And we all walk on behind.

 

Oh, to bleed for molten steel wouldn’t do us any harm

(Oh, to bleed for molten steel wouldn’t do us any harm

Oh, to bleed for molten steel wouldn’t do us any harm

And we all bleed on behind.

 

So we’ll ro-o-oll the old chariot along

An’ we’ll roll the golden chariot along

So we’ll ro-o-oll the old chariot along

And we’ll all hang for the Hook!

 

Hook enters, clad in silk dressing gown.

 

Hook | Quiet, you murderous, marauderous, malcontentious scugs, or I’ll weigh anchor in you! (Silence at once) To raise cheer in your hearts without a care for the man who has none… bad form! (The crew are mollified, continue to swab in silence)

 

Now is the hour when children in their homes are abed; their lips bright-browned with the good-night chocolate, their tongues drowsily searching for belated crumbs housed insecurely on their shining cheeks. Compare them with the ‘children’ aboard this very barge: Vile Bill Cookson, every inch of him tattooed… The Starkey brothers, once teachers in a public school and still dainty in their ways of killing… Noodler the Strange, whose hands be fixed on backwards… Skylights of the crow’s nest; no better eyes than his, despite only one of fleshy pulp, not polished glass… And least among their company, the weary, woeful Hook.

 

The pirate crew exit throughout the following.

 

Smee | (Entering) Cap’n, there you’ve got! I woke to find your bunk askew, and was half afeard you’d gone into the drink and be done.

 

Hook | And lastly, of course, Smee, my faithful lapdog of misery. How remiss of me to forget his forgetful face…

 

Smee | Soliloquizing, Cap’n? Say it’s not darkly on you once more, your vexational thoughts of Pan?

 

Hook | Pan! Woe to the Pan, my nemesis, my foe. Am I forever to be defined by the whims of a child? No parent has yet dreamed of the terror they inflict upon the world…

 

Smee | Forgive me, Cap’n, tis better I’d not raised the subject. Curse thee, Smee! (Smacks himself) I beg you, Cap’n, return to bed, eh? Cast aside those rebellious thoughts of Pan and woe and vengeance.

 

Hook | Vengeance, Smee! It’s mine to have by rights! (Raising his hook) T’were it not he who cut off my hand, who maimed me in this fashion? How long have I waited to shake his hand with this? Too long! By Davey Jones, I’ll tear him!

 

Smee | Hush now, Cap’n, you’ll vex yourself again. Why, often have I heard you say your hook was worth a score of hands – for the combing of the hair, and other homely uses…

 

Hook | If I were a mother, I would pray to have my children with this (His Hook) instead of that (His hand)! Tis not the function I decry, but the manner and the form. To lose it in combat against a true and honest foe – there is no greater virtue. But to do so to the cunning and viperous Pan… and with such regard for what followed…

 

Smee | Aye, the crocodile.

 

Hook | The crocodile! (Almost faints) It liked my arm so much, Smee, it has followed me ever since, from sea to sea, and from land to land, licking his lips for the rest of me…

 

Smee | Or so the young Pan says, Cap’n, put what stock in that you will… It was good of him, I suppose, to feed it a ticking clock after, at least.

 

Hook | A cruel and bitter mercy – as empty of sin and as heartless as a child…

 

Smee | I’m sure you shan’t be forever plagued, Cap’n. It will surely wind down, in the manner of all clocks, and you’ll be free at last of that infernal ticking.

 

Hook | Aye, Smee, tis precisely the silence of the void that haunts me. And when its great maw finally strikes, let all children rejoice at the passing of Captain Hook!

 

Smee | Surely now you’re getting away with the drama, Cap’n…

 

Hook | Easy words for thee to say, Smee! Children love thee and all your trappings.

 

Smee | If it pleases you, Cap’n, think of it as a compliment.

 

Hook | I want no such compliments – I want Peter Pan!

 

Skylights | (Off and above) Pan ho, off the port bow!

 

Hook | (Roused) What eye sees this? Speak fast, speak!

 

Smee | Tis Skylights, sir, keeping watch aloft in the crow. He spies the vapid boy against the rising dawn, no doubt.

 

Hook | Then, by Jove, we’ll have him. If there’s light enough to spy by Starkey’s eye, there’s light enough for Long Tom!

 

Smee | (Through the glass) I see him, Cap’n, with his shadow in his wake. Tis Pan and make no mistake. He’s returned!

 

Hook | Then roll out the cannonade, and hop to it, ye dogs!

 

Smee | (Ringing the bell) Heave to, me bullies! Bear out those guns!

 

Hook | Bad form be damned, it’s Pan or me this time, Smee. Fire!

 

Thunderous fire of cannon. Lights out.

Scene Four: Neverland

The pirate sail falls, revealing Neverland at sunrise. It grows lighter. Fairies, points of light, dart, speaking in the voice of bells. In the distance, sounds of cannonade. Fairies scatter.

 

Lighter now. Shapes among the loaming. The Lost Boys, waking at the disturbance: Tootles, Nibs, Slightly, Curly, the Twins.

 

Nibs          Ho, boys, I dreamed last night of Cinderella. She was fleeing from her ball, and in her flight, lost not one slipper but two. She stepped about on the prickly stones and gave herself a splinter, so that when her Prince did come to find her, he needn’t have found the matching shoe but pulled the thorn from out her heel. How does that serve for an ending?

 

Tootles            Poorly, I must say. I agree with Peter: much less fighting than I would like, lacking at least two good battles, I think.

 

Curly           I dreamed her wicked aunt discovered she had gone, and so to save herself embarrassment, chopped off both Cinderella’s two feet. She kept them for her own and married the prince herself.

 

Nibs                I like this ending better, but only for the chopping.

 

Slightly              What do the Twins think, then?

 

First Twin     I dreamed last night that the prince did find his Cinderella.

 

Second Twin Twin, I think you should not have dreamt that, for I did not, and Peter may say we oughtn’t to dream differently, being twins, as you know.

 

First Twin     Agreed. I dreamed nothing.

 

Curly              I am awfully anxious about Cinderella.

 

Slightly           I recall waking for a valid purpose. Was it wolves, perhaps, braying?

 

Nibs                The braves. They were drumming.

 

Second Twin I dreamed of Pan returning, and cannonballs rushing through the clouds.

 

First Twin     You don’t suppose it was those we heard?

 

Curly              That or distant thunder, lads, but I wager it were wolves.

 

Cannonade again.

 

Tootles          By thunder, that’s not thunder. That’s cannon fire, no fear!

 

Second Twin Pan’s back.

 

First Twin     Pan’s back!

 

The set about like boys. Neverland has come alive around them. They catch fairies, chase foxes, play pipes, begin a game of hide-and-seek. They come across Wendy, lying asleep in the loaming.

 

Slightly           Hold fast, boys! What’s this?

 

Curly              A bird?

 

Tootles          What kind of bird, do you think?

 

Nibs                I don’t know, but I could swear I heard it murmur, ‘Oh me, poor Wendy’.

 

Slightly           I remember now there are birds called Wendies.

 

Tootles          It’s not a bird, look! Skirts, not wings! I think it must be a lady.

 

Nibs                What could she be doing?

 

First Twin     The pirates.

 

Second Twin Yes, the pirates.

 

Both Twins   Hook has shot her down.

 

Curly              Now I see – Peter was bringing her to us.

 

Slightly           Why?

 

Both Twins   To take care of us!

 

Slightly           Why should we require care? We’re Lost Boys.

 

Tootles          Still boys though.

 

Second Twin Pan has brought us a mother ---

 

First Twin     Hush up, why don’t you? You know it’s not allowed.

 

Nibs                Seeing her now, I should think she’s less a bird and more an angel. She’s clearly meant to fly.

 

Tootles          You think?

 

Curly              I recall something of the way of angels. Generally they dwell aloft, but they’ve been known to fall from Heaven.

 

Second Twin And she is fairly lovely.

 

First Twin     Zip it!

 

Slightly           Then if from Heaven she’s come, I suppose she must return. Peter would beat us if he knew we’d found a mother---

 

All                   Shhhh!

 

Curly           Nibs, bring me those vines. We’ll haul her high again or else suffer for our lives.

 

Using vines, the Lost Boys begin to hoist Wendy into the trees. A cock crows nearby; a crashing and thrashing of underbrush with a sword; Pan appears, triumphant.

 

Peter               Greetings, boys! I am back! (Silence) Why do you not cheer? I have great news: I have brought a great treasure for us all!

 

Slightly           A treasure, Peter?

 

Peter               Aye, she flew this way. Have you not seen her?

 

Nibs           The angel!

 

Curly              The angel girl!

 

Slightly           Quick, boys, lower her, lower her!

 

They lower her.

 

Second Twin Oh, mournful day!

 

First Twin     Mournful day indeed!

 

Tootles          Peter, it is a sadder thing, and we know you despise crying.

 

Peter               What’s this? Wendy! Is she dead?

 

Curly           T’was Hook’s cannon, no doubt, aimed against yourself.

 

Peter               Oh this is grim news indeed, and we’ve only just arrived!

 

Slightly          Perhaps she’s only frightened at being dead?

 

Peter               Wendy? Wendy! Are you dead?

 

Wendy            (Waking) Where am I? Is this Never Never Land?

 

Tootles          Careful please, Wendy, it seems you’ve suffered an awful fall. Peter, should we fetch the doctor?

 

Peter               Slightly, fetch a doctor.

 

Slightly Nibs, fetch a doctor.

 

Nibs Curly, fetch a doctor.

 

Curly Right away!

 

Wendy            Peter, I’m sure I’m fine, it’s just a tumble…

 

Slightly confers with Tootles and Nibs. He rejoins, wearing Tootles’ glasses and Nibs’ hat.

 

Curly           May I be of assistance?

 

Peter               Please sir, are you a doctor?

 

Curly           Yes, my good Peter.

 

Peter               Please, sir, the lady is gravely ill.

 

Wendy            Why, I never…

 

Curly           Tut, tut, I shall put a thermompeter in her mouth and discern her warmth. (He pops a twig in her mouth)

 

Peter               How is she?

 

Wendy            (Taking it out) Fine, thank-you!

 

Curly           Tut, tut, I should say this has cured her, or I’m a baker.

 

Peter               Oh, I am glad.

 

Curly           I will call again in the evening. Give her beef tea out of a cup with a spout in it, tut, tut.

 

He bows. Applause at his performance.

 

Wendy            (Standing) Well then, thank-you, doctor, I’m feeling most refreshed.

 

Peter               Wendy, are you truly hurt?

 

Wendy            How can I be? I’m in Neverland! Peter, are these your boys?

 

Peter               These are the Lost Boys: Tootles, Slightly, Curly, Nibs, and the Twins - the cleverest, cunningest, bravest of the bunch, and I am their leader, cleverest and cunningest and bravest of them all.

 

Wendy            They are a spirited bunch. But tell me, Peter, how did they come here? Did they fly from London, just as we did?

 

Peter               Flying, rolling, paddling, strolling. Their stories are such a bore, and one all over and told. That’s why you’re here now, Wendy – to tell us new ones!

 

Nibs                New stories, Peter?

 

Tootles          Cinderella, and all the rest?

 

Peter               Wendy is the greatest teller of stories that ever lived!

 

The boys cheer.

 

Slightly           May we have one now, Wendy?

 

Tootles          Oh please, Wendy!

 

First Twin     Please tell us!

 

Second Twin Please!

 

Peter               Lost Boys! Silence! There’s no story so important it cannot wait till teatime. For now, we’ve battles enough. To arms!

 

More cheering, the Lost Boys rush about, arming themselves with weapons at hand.

 

Wendy            Battle, Peter?

 

Peter               Of course. Now that I’m back, we can begin again our war.

 

Wendy            A war? Against whom?

 

Peter               Everyone!

 

Wendy            It sounds awfully extravagant. Where shall we war?

 

Peter               All over! From Cannibal Cove to Hangman’s Tree, Skull Rock to Mermaid Lagoon!

 

Wendy            Oh, I should most like to see Mermaid Lagoon.

 

Peter               I’ll take you, you and I.

 

Wendy            Peter, will you really?

 

Peter               I shall.

 

The Lost Boys fade. Peter and Wendy are alone, caught in a spell. Lights close in around them.

 

Wendy            Are there many mermaids here in Neverland?

 

Peter               Many mermaids, and many more still – you might attempt to count their tails should they not flash and disappear to quickly.

 

Wendy            Yes, I can see it now: The sun’s rays have conspired for one more race over the waters before he gathers them up and lets in the moon.

 

Peter               At times, a lovely mermaid girl leaps in the air, shedding an excess of scales, which fall in a silver shower, glittering like diamond dust.

 

Wendy            One of the most bewitching blue-eyed creatures lays lazily on Marooners’ Rock, combing her long tresses and admiring the effects in a transparent shell, and fitful music, eerie and remarkable, drifts on tidal waves from their chamber grottos beneath the sleeping coral…