As part of the Finborough Theatre’s Celebrating British Music Theatre and The Great War 100 series, a new British musical from Phil Willmott – Lost Boy – receives its world premiere, playing a season at two London theatres. The piece opens at the Finborough, where it will now play for two weeks, premiering on 31 December 2013 (press night is 2 January 2014), before moving on to the Charing Cross Theatre for a further five-week run, opening on 13 January 2014 (second press night is 14 January).
Lost Boy, with book, music and lyrics by Willmott, is described as a dark sequel to Peter Pan, reuniting JM Barrie’s characters as young adults on the eve of the First World War.
Peter Pan was the Harry Potter of the golden age of Edwardian children’s literature. Tickets to Barrie’s play and copies of the book sold in huge quantities with hardly a nursery in the Empire left untouched by the phenomenon. But when those children grew to adulthood, the world they encountered was a far cry from the utopia of Never-Never Land. How did exposure to Barrie’s masterpiece equip an army of frightened young men to deal with the horrors of trench warfare and the complexities of grown up relationships?
Lost Boy explores the hopes and dreams of one particular young officer on the eve of battle with a copy of Peter Pan in his pocket. As sleep begins to blur his dreams and reality, fact and fiction become entangled and he finds himself central to one final ‘awfully big adventure’ with the grown-up Wendy, John, Michael and Tinker Bell.
The cast includes Olivier Award nominee Andrew C Wadsworth as Captain Hook, along with Steven Butler, Lauren Cocoracchio, Grace Gardner, Hannah Grace, Richard James-King, Natalie Lipin, Luka Markus, Max Panks, David Scotland, Joseph Taylor and Joanna Woodward.
Willmott’s original songs have been arranged into a score with additional music by Mark Collins, assistant musical director on the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical and a regular supporter of new work. Lost Boy is directed by Willmott, with musical direction by Isaac McCullough and choreography by Racky Plews. Musical supervision is by Mark Collins, with design from Phil Lindley and lighting by Miguel Vicente.
Composer, writer and director Willmott is one of the most commissioned musical theatre writers in the UK with original works currently in development at Shakespeare’s Globe, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and the New Wolsey Ipswich. His past musicals include Secret Love (national tour) Once Upon a Time At The Adelphi (Liverpool, London and US) and the regularly revived Dick Barton Trilogy, Around the World in Eighty Days and Jason and the Argonauts. He is founding artistic director of award-winning theatre company The Steam Industry, incorporating the Finborough Theatre (under the artistic directorship of Neil McPherson).
Steven M Levy, Sean Sweeney and The Steam Industry in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre present Lost Boy. Other productions in Celebrating British Music Theatre and The Great War 100 series include the professional world premiere of Ivor Novello’s operetta Valley of Song in January 2014.
Readers may also be interested in: