Drama about the people and events that inspired Scottish playwright and author JM Barrie to write the classic children's story, Peter Pan.
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-Your five-minute call, sir.
Places! Everyone to their places!
Shh! Quiet, everybody.
I love opening nights!
How are you? Good to see you.
-Good evening, Charles.
-Sir Herbert. How are you?
-This is my wife.
-Oh, Lady Herbert!
-How do you do?
-May I give you a peck?
One of Mr Barrie's finest?
Oh, that genius Scotsman has done it again.
It's the best thing I've produced in 25 years.
I already have investors interested back in New York.
-See you on Broadway!
First positions, people!
Standing by, please, ladies and gentlemen.
If you could take your opening positions, please.
Beginners, please take your opening positions.
Audience are coming in.
Good audience tonight.
That's great. Thank you. How much longer?
Um...ten minutes, sir.
I love opening night!
I want to dance with your wife at the after-party.
-Oh, my goodness!
-Good evening, Mr Frohman.
-How are you, John?
It's the best thing that I've produced in 25 years.
-Hello, George. How are you?
-Healthy and wealthy, I see.
You've rearranged a holiday for me. I won't forget it.
-For you, Charles...
-You won't regret it.
-Have you got the tickets?
-Yes. They're in my pocket.
Oh, there's Mrs Barrie.
Oh, Mr and Mrs Snow.
We were so hoping to speak with your husband before the show.
Have you seen him?
-I'm not sure where he is, actually.
We do miss seeing YOU onstage.
-You were so wonderful!
Well, it's been some time now.
Are you right to find your seat?
Oh, yes. Yes.
See you at the party, then.
Excuse me, could you find Mr Barrie
and remind him that they're doing his play this evening?
Let's close the doors.
KNOCKING GETS LOUDER
Really, I mustn't inconvenience you in this way.
-I can wait quite well in the shop.
-'Tis no inconvenience.
The shop is chilly, and there is a fire here.
Well, you're uncommonly good.
Um, Mrs Barrie wanted me to remind you that the play's begun,
though I imagine you know that.
-They hate it.
It's like a dentist's office out there. Why?
-I wouldn't say they hate it, sir.
-What do you think? Do you like it?
-I've just been hired here, sir.
-Yes or no? I'm not bothered.
I'm not really qualified to, er...
Do you like it? Is it crap?
-Go on, say it. Just say it.
It's shite, isn't it? Go on. Say it.
-Don't know if I'm...
-"It's bull's pizzle, Mr Barrie."
-Go on, say it.
-It's bull's pizzle, Mr Barrie.
-I knew it.
-No, I haven't even seen it.
I knew it. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Might I look at you, milord, for a moment?
-I'm an old man.
And I've seen few other sights.
Thank you, milord.
Absolute rubbish from start to finish.
-Yes, I found it fearfully dull.
-Say goodbye to your investment.
Good to see you. My apologies.
We'll get them with the next one, Charles. I promise.
-Of course we will, James.
-I know you put a lot into this one.
A fortune, James, but I am fortunate
because I can afford to lose a fortune.
-No, I can't. How are you?
You were sorely missed at the last club meeting.
We were beginning to wonder which is your hobby, writing or cricket.
You wanted to speak with Mr Barrie, didn't you?
Oh, yes, but we shouldn't interrupt them, should we?
I don't see why not.
If you ask me, the problem lies in our batting order.
You're absolutely right.
You remember Mr and Mrs Snow, don't you?
So the Snows have been waiting to meet with you all evening.
-Is that right?
Your play this evening - it was remarkable, wasn't it?
Well, thank you.
That's very kind of you. I'm...I'm glad you liked it.
How did you feel it went?
-I think I can do better.
I'm headed off for the park, if you'd like to join me.
It's a beautiful morning.
You'll be working, won't you?
I'll let you to your work, then.
-Morning, Mr Barrie.
-Have a good day, sir.
That's it! Go on, boy!
Go get it, boy.
That's right. Good boy!
Grab it! Good.
Who do you belong to?
Come on, boy. Come on! Come on, fetch!
Excuse me, sir. You're standing on my sleeve.
Am I? So sorry.
I might point out you're lying under my bench.
I have to, I'm afraid.
I've been put in the dungeon by the evil Prince George.
I'm sorry if it bothers you.
Well, if you're trapped in the dungeon,
there isn't much to be done, now, is there?
Perhaps I could slide a key to you through the bars.
I wouldn't risk it, sir.
The evil Prince George has tortured many men.
I'm sorry. Is he bothering you, sir?
My brother can be an extremely irritating sort of person.
Aha, Prince George, I gather.
I understand you are the horrible tyrant
who imprisoned this unfortunate wretch.
Not horrible really, but a firm ruler, yes.
Kind and tolerant.
And what, precisely, has, er... What did you say your name was?
-What, precisely, is Michael's crime?
He's my younger brother.
Ah! Fair enough.
-Sorry, lad. Cannot free you.
-That's all right.
Um, do you mind us playing with your dog?
-No, go on.
-This is Jack.
Second in line to the throne. And that one's Michael.
-He's only five.
-And I'm in prison for it.
I'm so sorry. Are my boys bothering you?
-We're not bothering him, Mum.
Michael, darling, come out from under there.
I can't. I'm in prison.
Oh, I see.
JM Barrie. Pleased to meet you.
JM Barrie the author? What a pleasure.
Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.
-Are you a writer?
He's a playwright, Jack. Quite a famous one at that.
I apologise. I imagine you're writing.
-No, not at all.
What have you written, Mr Barrie?
Well, currently, I make my living entertaining princes and their courts
with my trained bear, Porthos.
If you command your brother Peter to join us,
I am willing, Prince George, to give you just such a performance,
in exchange for the freedom of this prisoner, of course.
Now, I want you to pay particular attention...
to the teeth.
Some unscrupulous trainers
will show you a bear whose teeth have all been pulled,
while other cowards will force the brute into a muzzle.
Only the true master
would attempt these tricks without either measure of safety.
What did you bring me over here for?
-This is absurd. It's just a dog.
Come on, darling.
"Just a dog"? DOG WHINES
Porthos, don't listen to him.
Porthos dreams of being a bear,
and you want to dash those dreams by saying he's "just a dog"?
What a horrible, candle-snuffing word.
That's like saying, "He can't climb that mountain. He's just a man."
Or, "That's not a diamond. It's just a rock."
Fine, then. Turn him into a bear.
If you can.
Peter, Where are your manners?
With those eyes, my bonny lad, I'm afraid you'd never see it.
However, with just a wee bit of imagination,
I can turn around right now
the great bear.
Porthos, dance with me.
SYLVIA AND BOYS LAUGH
-The great bear, Porthos!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Thank you. I don't think I've ever seen a performance quite like it.
We're here every day,
and the bear is always more than happy to perform.
Perhaps we'll see you here tomorrow, then.
Peter, jump up, please, darling, quick.
Peter, didn't you enjoy that?
I've seen better.
Well, Michael wanted the bear kept prisoner with him,
and Peter insisted that Michael was hardly a prisoner
and Porthos simply wasn't a bear at all.
I do very much hope to see them tomorrow.
What's her name?
Um... Mrs...something Davies.
You know her?
Well, I know who she is, of course.
Why, she's a du Maurier, for heaven's sake.
Her father was the artist.
Her brother's the actor.
And there was something...tragic that happened with her husband.
Oh, yes. He died.
Cancer of the jaw, I believe.
Yes. Apparently, he left her with four boys and no income to speak of.
Why, if it wasn't for her mother's help...
We should have them to dinner.
HE CLATTERS CUTLERY Should we?
I've always wanted to meet Madam du Maurier.
Why, she knows practically everyone there is worth knowing.
What are you writing about?
Oh, nothing of any great consequence.
I can't write.
Have you ever kept a journal?
Ever tried your hand at writing a play?
Well, then, how do you know?
I know. That's all.
Where's your mother today, and the rest of the boys?
Mother's got a bit of a chest cold.
I'm sure everyone would be happy to see you, though.
I should leave you to your writing.
I'll see you later, then.
Why didn't you tell me, Charles? You knew it wasn't any good.
Why didn't you tell me, James? You knew it wasn't any good.
I took an extended lease on the theatre,
keeping the actors on.
I don't have another play.
I'm sure you will.
I need you to sign for the storage, Mr Frohman.
-Easy does it. Take your time.
-Yeah, all right.
It was never meant to be taken seriously.
You know what happened, James. They changed it.
They changed what?
They made it important.
What's it called?
What's it called?
WILD WEST MUSIC
Bang! Bang, bang! Bang, bang!
Return the boy to us, you nasty Injun.
Our people teach boy Indian ways.
Make him great warrior. Our chief, Running Nose, never let him go.
Bang! Bang, bang!
Me wounded, Peter. Time short.
You go. Spread wings and soar like eagle above enemy.
Fly back to our chief.
Tell her of my brave defeat!
Indians can't fly.
Of course they can. Go on. Go on. Go on.
Listen to us, boy. This Indian kidnapped you.
Not true. We kidnap no-one.
You lost boy.
I teach you ways of the brave.
I take you as my own son.
You are not my father.
Bang! Bang! Bang, bang!
-I've got him!
-Let me go!
-Stop it, you two!
-Ooh, we are awful, aren't we?
-I'm warning you...
-Oh! I'm scared!
First we have a bit of fun for a change!
-Stop it, you two! Get off!
Get off, George!
-I'm terribly sorry.
-Oh, it wasn't your fault.
I'm afraid it might have been.
To be honest, I'm just happy you got him to join in the game.
Oh, yes, I was a tremendous success.
Mr Barrie, it's more than I've been able to achieve.
Peter's a different boy since his father died.
You know, I don't think he's even had a good cry about it.
Grief affects us all in different ways, doesn't it?
Yes, it does.
Oh, by the way,
my wife would like to invite you and the boys over to dinner.
Your mother as well.
Oh. How kind.
That would be lovely.
Well, don't you all look lovely in your little suits?
And, Mrs du Maurier, what a shame it is
that we've not met until this evening.
How kind of you to say so.
Not at all - I can't tell you
how many times I've been to a charity or a...social event
and seen your name listed among the organisers.
It's the very thing I would love to do myself
if I could just find the time.
My problem is, is in finding the time to do everything else.
At the moment, I am running two households.
Sylvia believes she can get by without a housekeeper.
My house is quite large enough for us all,
but the idea of living with me seems not...
Not now, please, Mother.
We help her keep the house in order.
Don't interrupt, George. Where did you get your manners?
I understand you've become playmates of my grandchildren.
Oh, they indulge me, really.
On the contrary.
The other day,
we took to an exploration of darkest Africa in our garden.
But Mr Barrie was taken ill by the bite of a...what was it?
Tsetse fly. Quite horrible.
Yes, and he swelled to the size of a hippopotamus.
Fingers like sausages.
We had to float in him down the river like he was a bloated raft.
But the fishing was good, wasn't it?
-Thank you so much. Very pleasant.
It was a lovely evening.
Well, that was a disaster.
Painful. Utterly painful to see.
I don't know what you mean. I had a lovely time.
Oh, James, please.
"My problem is in finding the time to do everything else."
I've never felt so judged in my life.
Judged? How do you mean?
A grown man, for heaven's sake, playing all day long with children?
In any case,
I hardly think they'll be the social contact we'd hoped for.
Hadn't really thought of them that way. Just enjoy their company.
He's been a good friend to us, Mother.
Yes, but what does that mean, hmm?
Surely you don't intend...
..to keep spending your afternoons with those children, do you?
And so today, ladies and gentlemen,
using only the wind and his own physical strength,
George Llewelyn Davies shall test the very limits of the atmosphere
using his tethered craft.
Go on, boy.
-Go on, George.
-You're going to break it, George.
-Just needs a bit more speed.
-I want to do it.
-Hold off a bit, George.
-I think it's in need of a tail.
-Here. James, this will do.
-That's a good idea.
-No, it's not heavy enough.
-want to do it.
You coming, Peter?
It'll work this time.
Porthos. Give us your bell. That's good. Here.
-Now, would you like to give it a go?
-Oh, he can't run fast enough.
-Of course he can.
Let him try, Jack.
-Now, George, you hold the kite.
Come on, boys. Let's go back up to the top.
Come on. Come on, Peter.
All right, George, hold it up.
Darling, you've got to run now. Ready?
Oh, I told you this wasn't going to work.
I don't think he's fast enough.
It won't work if no-one believes in him.
-Now, give him a chance.
-Go back to your starting position.
-Darling, we'll try again.
-George, take the kite.
-If it'll help.
-Now, this time,
I don't want a flea's breath of doubt.
-We must get that kite in the air.
I think I feel a bit more breeze.
-Go on. Go on.
-You can do it, Michael.
-You've got to run.
Run, Michael. Run! Run!
Yes! He did it!
What are you writing about now?
Oh, just making notes.
I'm never really certain what they're about
until I've read them over later.
Something about the kite?
Now, why do you ask that?
I don't know.
If I were a writer,
I think I could tell a whole story about flying the kite today.
Perhaps you should, then. That's a fantastic idea.
Why not give it a try?
I hope you haven't been talking about
anything TOO serious with this one.
No. Talking a bit of silliness, really.
Can we have him for supper?
Have him to STAY for supper, Michael. We're not cannibals.
You are welcome, you know.
Mr Barrie. Where have you been?
Um, flying a kite, Mother, and having a wonderful time.
I'm sorry, I didn't know you were coming this evening.
No? Well, apparently you forgot, then.
I brought some supper along for us all.
You didn't need to do that.
Well, there's no food in the house, is there?
Really, you don't need to wait till the cupboard is bare.
Please, Mother. Come on, darling.
Wipe feet. There's been enough tracking round here.
George, I thought you said you were going to help your mother
take care of the house.
Coat, Michael, please. Yes. And...coathanger.
-Will we see you tomorrow?
No, you are going to be helping round the house tomorrow.
Mother, there is absolutely no need for this.
You can't do everything yourself. Look at you.
You're horribly flush. You're wearing yourself out.
Thank you for a lovely day, James. Excuse me, Mother.
So, from tomorrow, we're going to have some discipline around here.
And not one of you will escape!
-Good evening, Mr Barrie.
-Good evening, Sarah.
-Good evening, Mr Barrie.
You missed supper.
Perhaps I'll have something later. I've a bit of writing I wanted to do.
Are you sure? It was a lovely meal.
Sarah let Emma cook this evening.
Is that right?
Listen, what would you think of loaning Emma out to the Davies
for the occasional evening?
They don't actually have a cook.
I take it Mrs Davies enjoyed the meal she had here.
I imagine she could use an extra hand now and again, that's all.
That's very charitable of you.
Perhaps we can send over some of the silver as well.
And what about linen?
I wouldn't be surprised if some of hers was looking a bit shabby.
Please, Mary, stop.
Maybe she can send over some of the things we've run short on.
My husband, for example.
We rarely see him in this house.
That hasn't seemed to bother you for some time now.
DISHES CRASH AND MAID GASPS
Lords and ladies, His Royal Highness King Michael the Benevolent,
protector of the realm.
That sceptre's made of wood.
Yes, well, we dream on a budget here, don't we?
No, I mean, everyone thinks it's made of gold.
But it's just an old hunk of wood.
The means to an end, Peter.
What we've done is taken an old hunk of wood
and transformed it for all the world to see
into the most magnificent gold.
There you go.
All great writers begin with a good leather binding
and a respectable title.
"The Boy Castaways.
"Being a record of the terrible adventures of the brothers Davies,
"faithfully set forth by Peter Llewelyn Davies."
Kipling would swallow his own ear for a title like that.
Stab him, George. You can do it.
I still have no idea what to write.
Write about anything.
Write about your family. Write about the talking whale.
The one that's trapped in your imagination and desperate to get out.
Come, sit down.
I have actually begun writing about
the adventures of the Davies brothers myself.
-A play indeed, yes.
And I would be extremely honoured
if you would allow me the use of your name for one of the characters.
I don't know what to say.
Porthos, that's mine. Let go.
I won't go to bed. I won't, I won't.
You should have been in bed half an hour ago, young man.
I'm afraid I've grown hopelessly lax in my discipline.
Nonsense. Young boys should never be sent to bed.
They always wake up a day older.
And then, before you know it, they're grown.
Their father would have been horrified.
Of course, he'd never have allowed a dog in the house either.
He'd have tied him up in the yard.
Right. Last one in bed's a hairy toad.
BOYS SHOUT AND CHATTER EXCITEDLY
SHE SIGHS QUIETLY
You mean a lot to my boys, you know.
It seems to me that Peter is trying to grow up too fast.
I imagine he thinks
that grown-ups don't hurt as deeply as children do when they...
..when they lose someone.
I lost my elder brother, David, when I was just Peter's age.
And it nearly destroyed my mother.
James, I'm so sorry.
Your poor mother.
Can't imagine losing a child.
She didn't get out of bed for months.
She wouldn't eat.
I tried everything to make her happy, but...
..she only wanted David.
So, one day...
..I dressed myself in David's clothing...
..and I went to her.
You must have frightened her to death.
I think it was the first time she ever actually looked at me.
And that was the end of the boy James.
I used to say to myself he'd gone to Neverland.
It's a wonderful place.
I've not spoken about this before to anyone.
What's it like, Neverland?
One day, I'll take you there.
Wait a minute, James. He's a fairy?
No, he's the irrepressible spirit of youth. Tinker Bell is the fairy.
Tinker Bell is a woman?
She's not a woman, she's a fairy.
He is a boy who stays young forever.
James, how does anyone stay young forever? It doesn't work.
He just believes, Charles.
He imagines life the way he wants it to be
and he believes in it long enough and hard enough
that it all appears before him, you see?
James, I'm your friend. You're coming off a flop.
You have a man who is a fairy.
-No, a boy.
-And this girl calls herself Tinker.
And you have a pirate ship on stage,
surrounded by tons and tons of water.
-That's a lot of water.
-It's a lot of water.
Yes, and that's a lot of money.
It is, but we can fake the water.
Well, if we can fake the water, I'm sure your play will be a hit.
You know what I think I'll do?
I'll imagine life the way I want it to be.
-Long enough and hard enough.
And then the money for the play will appear magically before me.
-That's right. That's it. Yes.
How does the clock wind up inside the crocodile?
-He swallows it.
-Ah, of course he does.
CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUDS
How was he?
I finally get the courage to invite the boys to a game
and we have to suffer this grave humiliation.
It's perfect, actually.
Spend a good deal of time with them, don't you?
Every moment I can spare, in fact.
I'm glad for you.
And Mrs Davies seems to be having a good time of it as well.
You should be aware, though, James, what some people have been saying.
Mind you, I wouldn't bring it up if I thought the rumours would pass.
I'm not surprised. What are they saying?
That you spend much more time with Mrs Davies
than you do with your own wife.
She is a widow, and, um...
I'm a friend. That's it, nothing more.
There have also been questions about
how you spend your time with those boys and why.
How could anyone think something so evil?
They're children. They're innocent children.
You find a glimmer of happiness in this world,
there's always someone who wants to destroy it. No.
Thank you, Arthur,
but I don't think many will give credence to such nonsense.
Then why is no-one sitting with them?
Once you get a bit of notoriety, James,
people watch you.
And they will look for ways to drag you down.
PLAYERS SHOUT, CROWD APPLAUDS
Are you sure your wife doesn't object
to us taking over your cottage for the summer, James?
She doesn't go there anymore.
Really? It's such a relief to get away.
-You'll come and visit, I hope.
-Are we in?
-Can I drive, Uncle Jim?
HORN TOOTS, ENGINE BACKFIRES
Out of the way, or I'll make haggis out of you.
Get the sheep out the way.
BOYS YELL AND LAUGH
-Are we there yet?
I can see the cottage!
Shall we explore, Michael?
If you're going outside, don't tear your clothes, please.
-Come on, follow me!
-Be careful of the stinging nettles.
Hurry up, everyone.
-Would you like to see the rest of it?
Thought you could escape from Captain Swarthy, eh?
Off to the ship with you, then. Off to the ship, son!
So, now you can either choose to become a pirate with the rest of us
or we'll toss you to the sharks.
Or maybe the crocodiles, eh?
No-one's escaped, Captain.
Excellent work, matey.
Now, then. Now is your only chance to speak.
Who amongst you is ready to tie your hopes and dreams to the sea?
-Not finished yet.
To enter upon the most dangerous chapter
in your young and soon-to-be-wasted lives.
BOY LAUGHS What did you say?
What are you doing, son? Are you giggling?
On my ship? Giggling? What did you say?
-I said, I'm ready, Captain.
-What's your name, boy?
I'm Curly, the oldest and wisest of the crew.
Cut him loose, matey.
Welcome aboard, Curly. Your job will be to mop the deck.
And who be you, young squire?
-ADOPTS IRISH ACCENT:
-My name be Nibs the Cutthroat -
feared by men and greatly desired by the ladies.
Welcome aboard, Nibs. You shall polish all wood surfaces.
Grab a hold of that rigging.
And you, lad.
That's not a pirate name.
What about Dastardly Jim, eh?
No. Just Peter.
I like my name.
In punishment for lack of an interesting pirate name,
Peter shall walk the plank.
Cut him loose.
There's the script.
-What are you playing, again?
What have you got...?
Mr Barrie, sir?
There's been a mistake here, sir.
It says here I'm to play the nanny.
Don't imagine I quite fit that part, eh?
-You're not actually the nanny.
You're a dog.
We'll put you in a great big fluffy dog suit.
Oh. Oh, right.
All right, all right.
We don't have a Tinker Bell cast, do we? He could play Tinker Bell.
Oh, heavens, no. Tinker Bell's a light.
It moves around the stage.
Just a wee light that moves around the stage.
Bit worried about this.
We've got John Darling, Michael Darling, Tiger Lily,
It's a play for puppets.
Toodles, Nibs, Curly.
Oh, these names are absurd when you see them all together.
Ah. Hello, James.
You're out of your mind.
DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS
How were rehearsals?
They're going, er...quite well.
Yes. Thank you.
How was your journey?
It was quite long. I'm exhausted.
-Let's get you some tea.
-That'd be nice. Thanks.
Can you come to the playhouse?
In a moment, Michael. He's just arrived.
But I said, "I'll get him."
They always send Peter to do things.
I said, "I'll do it. It will spoil the surprise."
What surprise, darling?
It's a great surprise. We've taken most of the day preparing for it.
Everybody's waiting for you.
Then we mustn't keep them waiting.
-Please don't tell them that I told you the surprise.
I said I wouldn't.
Well, you didn't really tell us anything about it, did you?
Yes, I did. It's a play.
It's a play!
"'The Lamentable Tale Of Lady Ursula'.
"A play in one act by Peter Llewelyn Davies."
This is just a bit of silliness, really.
I should hope so. Go on.
I just wanted to take a stab at writing, you know.
Well, the others do a good job of it anyway.
Well, let's see it, then.
'The Lamentable Tale of Lady Ursula'.
One morning, just after sunrise, Lady Ursula,
the most beautiful daughter of Lord and Lady du Bonn,
made her way up the steps of the great cathedral
to pray to her blessed saint.
Suddenly, as she reached the cathedral doors,
the gargoyle that guarded the sacred structure
came to life and swooped down upon her.
The people of the village all ran for safety,
but Lady Ursula slipped on the cathedral steps
and the gargoyle descended upon her, wrapping her in its huge wings
and taking her high up into the spires of the cathedral.
-Go on, Peter.
Not long after this sorrowful event,
a young knight named JM Barnaby came into the city.
-He vowed to...
-Do you want some water?
Let's get her back to the house. Go on.
She won't discuss it with me at all. She claims it was nothing.
I tell you, doctor, she couldn't breathe.
I can't very well treat a patient
who won't admit there's anything wrong.
You'll have to make her understand that something is.
-I'll try and do my best.
Put your hand flat like that.
OK, and then... Ow!
And then...like that.
JAMES AND DOCTOR WHISPER
KNOCK AT DOOR
Good doctor didn't feel up to the challenge on this one.
He thinks you need to go to hospital for further tests.
When would I have time for that?
Besides, this family's had enough of hospitals.
-Perhaps they can help you.
-I know what they can do for me.
Saw what they did for my husband.
No, James. No interest in hospitals.
Though I'm keenly interested in having some supper.
What did you and Mother decide to tell us this time?
It's only a chest cold?!
-We hadn't decided anything.
-Stop lying to me!
I'm sick of grown-ups lying to me.
I'm not lying to you. I don't know what's wrong.
"Father might take us fishing," that's what she said,
"in just a few weeks," and he died the next morning.
That wasn't a lie, Peter. That was your mother's hope.
He barely moved for a week,
but I started planning our fishing trip.
I will never lie to you.
I promise you that.
No, all you'll do is teach me to make up stupid stories
and pretend that things aren't happening until...
I won't! I'm not blind! I won't be made a fool!
What's this? Peter.
Darling, I wanted to see the rest of it.
Magic's gone out of it a bit now, hasn't it?
All because of a silly chest cold.
MAN TALKS INDISTINCTLY
Well, I tried to incorporate into this the idea of...
civil liberties being breached.
And governments don't really have the right.
Well, you remember Gilbert Cannan, don't you?
Mr Cannan has been working on the committee
to fight government censorship.
I know how involved you've been as well.
He wanted to speak to you. Did think you'd be home so much sooner.
-It's been a long evening, Mary.
Well, if I'd realised how late it was, of course...
I should perhaps talk to you at another time?
-Not so late?
-That will be fine.
We'll talk then. Thank you for your patience, Mrs Barrie. Mr Barrie.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
Well, aren't you going to speak?
What would you like me to say?
"Curious how late Mr Cannan stayed," I suppose.
And then, let's see - what comes next?
"No later than you were out, James.
"And how is Mrs Davies this evening?"
Oh, yes, I'd have a great answer for that one, wouldn't I?
How dare you?
This isn't one of your plays.
I know that, Mary.
It's quite serious.
But I'm not ready for this conversation, wherever it may lead.
Perhaps we can talk in the morning, yes? Goodnight, then.
Uh, Mr Barrie.
Don't you agree this is a little bit tight?
No. No, in fact, I think it's quite...baggy.
-I'd bring it right in just there.
-That's very tight.
Right there, and maybe a plank of wood there to straighten him up.
-Oh, yes, Mr Barrie.
-Plank of wood?
-Some wood there in the shoulders.
Otherwise, it's marvellous.
-You'll be sick tomorrow.
-I'll be sick tonight.
HE SNORTS AND LAUGHS
We're just having some tea.
-You remember my mother, of course.
-Yes, of course. How do you do?
May I take your hat? BOYS LAUGH LOUDER
That's enough, boys!
HE MAKES A WAR CRY
Boys, please don't run in the house. You'll break something.
Come away from that door. Come on. Come on, come on.
I'd like a word with you, Mr Barrie, before you go.
We'll only be a few minutes.
Boys, why don't you go and play in the garden. Go on!
-Is he in trouble?
Because I've been alone with Grandmother,
and I know what it's like.
Shall we retire into the study?
Why don't you join them, dear?
-I do apologise for interrupting.
-Would you close the door, please?
Sylvia has told me
you've offered her the services of your household staff.
Um, well, not exactly.
That won't be necessary.
I'll leave that to Sylvia, of course.
You'll leave that to me, Mr Barrie.
You see, I'm moving in here from now on.
-You're moving in?
-I'm going where I'm most needed.
And I can certainly see to it that this house is managed
without resorting to your charity.
It isn't charity, Mrs du Maurier.
I was only trying to help as a friend.
Have you no idea how much your friendship
has already cost my daughter?
Or are you really that selfish?
I beg your pardon?
Don't you see what a visit to the summer cottage of a married man
does for a widow's future prospects?
Sylvia needs to find someone. The boys need a father.
And you are destroying any hope this family has
of pulling itself together again.
I have only wanted good things for this family, Mrs du Maurier.
I'll look after them.
You have your own family to concern yourself with.
What are you suggesting?
I'm suggesting that you protect what you have, Mr Barrie.
That is precisely what I am doing.
I was so certain what I would find in this.
Some little confession would leak out onto the page.
I don't write love notes in my journal.
Still, you knew who I meant, didn't you?
That's some comfort, actually.
Means I know you just a little after all.
You needn't steal my journal to get to know me, Mary.
I suppose I could just go see the plays.
I was hopelessly naive when I married you.
I imagined that brilliant people disappeared to some secret place
where good ideas floated around like leaves in autumn.
And I...hoped, at least...
you would take me there with you.
There is no such place.
Yes, there is.
It's the best you've written, James.
And I'm sure the Davies will adore the world you've created for them.
I only wish I were part of it.
I've wanted you to be.
Mary, I always imagined us going off on great adventures
once we were together.
But we moved into this house, and you started... I don't know.
You started rearranging the furniture.
What was I supposed to do, James?
You were always gone.
I was right here.
Sitting in your parlour, staring off into other worlds,
as though I didn't exist.
Look, just give me a bit more time to finish up the play.
To spend with your muse?
No, I'm tired of waiting, James.
I'm tired of looking like a fool.
Well, I can't very well give up the play.
Of course not.
Just come home to me at the end of the day.
Rehearse and be home for dinner.
No more trips to the country, no more long afternoons in the park.
If you can't give us that much of a chance...
then we must end this.
And I will.
Um, first you get the pyjamas, then you make the bed.
With my paws?
You make the bed with your paws. The pyjamas you get with your teeth.
Because, in fact, being a dog,
you haven't any proper digits, have you?
Well, I don't have any teeth either.
I mean, I can't see, I can't breathe.
All I've got is this rubbery snout.
Can we get him some teeth?
He can have mine.
We'll get you teeth.
Let's have a wee break, shall we?
-I thought you were wonderful.
-You were marvellous.
You're better on four legs than you are on two.
-Oh, give it a rest.
-Just say it, Charles. Go on.
-Well, you picture it, James.
Opening night - doctors, lawyers, businessmen and their wives,
all dressed to the nines.
They've paid good money, they're expecting theatre -
what we call theatre.
The curtain opens, and it's crocodiles and fairies
and pirates and Indians.
I don't even know what it is.
But you did know, Charles.
You're an absolute genius, Charles.
-Oh, don't patronise me, James.
You know how much money I put into this show I haven't even found yet?
Listen, listen. Opening night, I want 25 seats set aside.
-Set aside? 25?
-25 seats. Right.
Scattered throughout the theatre. Two here, two there, three up there.
-Are they paid for?
-No, no, no. I'm asking.
-The seats are filled. Don't worry.
-Asking if they're paid for.
-Could I speak to you, please?
-25 seats, Charles.
-It'll be great. It'll be fantastic.
-25 scattered seats.
-Who's paying for them?
-Throughout the theatre.
Yeah, who's paying for these 25 scattered...
They're filled-up seats, Charles.
-This is great! I'm flying!
-Yeah, you're flying.
We don't need to use much pull at all, see?
As long as we've got the balance down.
Mother asked me to take the boys out for the afternoon.
She said she only wanted a bit of quiet.
But she was trembling so badly, she couldn't even finish her tea.
I'm not a fool, Uncle James.
I deserve to know the truth.
I don't know the truth. She won't talk about it.
But you think it's serious?
It could be.
The doctor felt she should go and have some tests.
Then you'll have to convince her to go, then.
I've tried. She won't listen to me.
And lately, to be quite honest,
it seems that all my best intentions for your family
have come to nothing but harm.
Apparently, I've made quite a mess of things.
It's Grandmother, isn't it?
She's run you off, hasn't she?
Oh, she's absolutely tried with great effort and...
and perhaps with good reason.
It isn't you, Uncle Jim, she just...
She just doesn't want to see Mother hurt anymore.
Look at that.
The boy's gone.
Somewhere during the last 30 seconds, you've become a grown-up.
Right, then. I think you should be the one to talk to her, George.
But I wouldn't know what to say.
You'll do fine.
You'll do just fine.
Mr Barrie, sir.
Sorry to interrupt. Um, it's Nana.
He's expired backstage.
I think his costume is too tight.
That's not possible, too ti...
George, give me a minute. I'll be back.
Pull that one tight.
Here. Last one. Good.
OK. Flap those wings.
-Can I have a go?
Yeah, you can have a go if you want. Give that a tug. Go on.
-Can I have a go? Can I have a go?
-In a minute. In a minute.
-Jack, pull me higher.
-I have to concentrate.
-Stop it now, boys!
-Stop mucking about, boys. Come on.
-I want to do it!
-No! Don't go down there!
-What?! What are you...?
Oh, no! Oh, no. I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
Mrs Davies would like a word.
No, just Mr Barrie.
Did you...encourage this?
You know perfectly well what.
George won't allow them to set his arm
unless I submit to an examination.
Well, I suppose you'll have to, then.
Cos he's quite a stubborn young man when he sets his mind to it.
But this is absurd.
They won't tell me anything different.
So you've already spoken to a doctor, then?
That is not your concern.
My understanding is that my condition may be quite serious.
However, my wish is that life should go on as normal.
So, I'll have the examination.
And I'll take whatever medications they advise.
But I don't want to know what they're for.
And I don't want you inquiring into it any further.
Wouldn't dream of it.
Mary! HE KNOCKS ON DOOR
Peter, could you help George to fold a pocket handkerchief, please?
They're in the linen cupboard.
How do you manage to always come untucked?
Would you check your shirt tails in the intermission, please?
You're not planning on attending any after-theatre events, are you?
Only for a short time, if we do.
-With the children?
George! Um, possibly.
Would you see if George has the tickets, please?
-check my dressing table.
-Sylvia, there's a...
Mother, please see if George has the tickets.
Michael, where are your socks?
Um, wait here. Don't move.
-Take her feet, George.
We'll need some more blankets.
Take Michael with you, would you?
She looks much worse than when we were at the cottage.
-Those 25 seats. Has anyone shown up?
-No, sir. Not yet.
Precisely. Have there been many people asking for seats?
I suggest you start selling them.
Have you seen any of the Davies family this evening?
-The 25 seats, are they filled?
-It's taken care of.
Yes, yes. Who did you invite?
Because obviously whoever you invited decided not to come.
-The seats will be filled, I promise.
-Yes, you've been promising...
-Hello, Mr Stanley.
Have you seen the Davies family this evening?
Jack has gone to get Dr Brighton.
Oh, no, Mother, I don't need a doctor.
Yes, you do, dear.
I think I'll get some chamomile to help you relax.
Peter will be here if you need anything.
Can I do anything, Mother?
You must go to the play.
I can't do that.
Yes, you can. I need you to.
I need you to come back tonight and tell me every bit of it.
It's only a play, Mother.
It doesn't matter.
What do you want?
Take it out.
I've never been so proud of you.
Last call, please, ladies and gentlemen. Last call...
Yes, yes, yes, yes. It's all right. They know.
We have time to sell those 25 seats. The play's starting.
-Charles, they're here.
Forgive them being a bit late. Short legs. Long walk from the orphanage.
I'm not clear what they're doing here.
-They've come to see the play.
-That's the 25 seats.
25 seats given to orphans. Right. Now my nightmare is complete.
You can start your play now.
Get them in the scattered seats.
Just there, boys.
Excuse me, sir. This way.
-We have a little gentleman.
Looks like we got one of the better dressed ones.
I just want you to know, I think you're a wonderful dog.
I won't go to bed! I won't! I won't!
-Nana, it isn't 6 o'clock yet.
Two minutes more.
One minute more. Nana, I will not be bathed!
I tell you, I will not...be...bathed.
-NANA BARKS LOUDLY
Who are you?
Yet I feel sure I saw a face.
How is she?
-May I see her?
-No, Mr Barrie.
I don't think we need to include you
in everything that goes on in this household.
-But she'd want to see him!
-Be quiet, George.
And since, as I've discovered,
you've seen fit to conceal certain facts
about my daughter's condition from me,
I feel no remorse at excluding you from my home.
-But you can't...
-Go upstairs, George, now!
Stop ordering me about!
This isn't your home. It's OUR home.
Just cos Mother's needed your help recently
doesn't give you the right to rule over her existence.
She's not a child any more. Neither am I.
If she wants to see Uncle Jim, she can see Uncle Jim.
There's nothing you can do about it.
Look at all this.
I'd have come tonight. It's just...
-Mother, you need to rest!
-..I still have things to do here.
See? This needs mending.
Four boys. No end of patches.
Can't seem to keep up.
I haven't the time for all this.
Don't look at me like that, James. You make me feel so utterly exposed.
Boys, would you give me a moment with your mother, please?
They can see it, you know.
You can't go on just pretending.
You brought pretending into this family, James.
You showed us we can change things
by simply believing them to be different.
A lot of things, Sylvia. Not everything.
But the things that matter.
We've pretended for some time now that...
..you're a part of this family, haven't we?
You've come to mean so much to us all that...now...
it doesn't matter if it's true.
And even if it isn't true...
even if that can never be...
..I need to go on pretending...
..until the end.
LAUGHTER Oh, I am sweet.
How do you do it?
You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts,
and they lift you up in the air.
You are so nippy at it.
Couldn't you do it very slowly once?
Yes, I've got it now, Wendy.
I must blow fairy dust on you first.
Now try. Try it from the beds.
Just wriggle your shoulders like this. And then let go.
Now join hands.
-Look at me!
-I do like it!
-Look at me!
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-Let's go out!
Second on the right and straight on till morning.
WHISPERS: Sylvia, don't move.
-I feel a little better.
Oh, it's been a bad day, that's all.
I want you to go back to the theatre.
You sure there's nothing else I can do for you?
I have always wanted to go to Neverland.
You did promise to tell me about it, you know.
Aye. That I did.
It's a bit late for it tonight, though, I'm afraid.
Perhaps some time soon, though.
Do you mean we shall both be drowned?
Look how the water is rising.
It must be the tail of the kite we made for Michael.
You remember. It tore itself out of his hands and floated away.
-Why shouldn't it carry you?
-Both of us.
It can't lift two. Michael and Curly tried.
I won't go without you, Peter.
Let us draw lots which is to stay behind.
And you a lady? Never.
Don't let go, Wendy!
Peter, I'm frightened.
Hang on, Wendy!
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
I'm glad you came.
I've never missed an opening.
..assume you heard about Gilbert and I.
Quite the scandal, so I'm told.
How are you?
I'm all right.
How are you?
Without that family, you could never have written anything like this.
You need them.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-There they are!
-I did indeed. Did indeed.
You look ten years younger.
That was quite the nicest evening I've ever spent in the theatre.
Oh, that's very kind of you to say. Thank you.
Where's Mr Snow this evening?
Oh. I'm afraid he's left us.
And he would so have loved this evening.
The pirates and the Indians.
He was really just a boy himself, you know.
To the very end.
I'm terribly sorry. How are you doing?
I'm doing well enough now, thank you.
I suppose it's all the work of the ticking crocodile, isn't it?
Time is chasing after all of us.
Isn't that right?
That's right, Mrs Snow.
-Aunt Rose, your drink.
Mustn't keep you. You've a lot of friends here.
Well, it's lovely to see you.
-I'm terribly sorry, once again.
Was that Mr Barrie?
That was Mr Barrie.
-Well done, Mr Barrie.
-Well done, Mr Barrie.
-Well done. Well done.
-Well done, sir. Well done, sir.
What do you think?
It's about our summer together, isn't it?
-About all of us.
Do you like it?
It's magical. Thank you.
Oh, thank you.
Thank you, Peter.
-This is Peter Pan! How wonderful.
-THEY ALL CHATTER
Really? You're Peter Pan?
Why, you must be quite the little adventurer.
Look, it's true. He has no shadow.
THEY ALL LAUGH
But I'm not Peter Pan.
THEY ALL LAUGH
And there's been no improvement in that
since my last visit?
Has James been by at all today, Mother?
-KNOCK AT DOOR
May I have a word?
Excuse me a moment.
You haven't been keeping him from me, have you?
As a matter of fact, I actually hoped he might come.
Would have proved me wrong about him.
Of course, with the success of his play,
the whole of London must be knocking at his door.
I'm sorry, dear.
-What is it?
-It's a secret.
I didn't say anything.
Mother, could you come downstairs for a moment?
Of course she can't come downstairs. What are you thinking of, George?
Actually, I think a trip downstairs might do her good, ma'am.
-What have you been up to?
-Just wait and see.
It's a play.
It's not just A play, Michael.
It's THE play.
Of course, we'll have to make do with a few compromises.
Much of it will have to be imagined.
-As it should be.
-As it should be. That's right.
There we go.
Michael, come and sit here, next to Mum.
When you're ready.
ORCHESTRA PLAYS DRAMATIC MUSIC
-I won't go to bed. I won't. I won't!
Nana, it isn't 6 o'clock yet.
-Two minutes more. Please?
You know fairies, Peter?
But they're nearly all dead now.
You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time,
the laugh broke into a thousand pieces
and they all went skipping about,
and that was the beginning of fairies.
And now when every new baby is born,
its first laugh becomes a fairy.
So there ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl.
-Ought to be? Isn't there?
Children know such a lot now.
Soon they don't believe in fairies.
And every time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies,"
there's a fairy somewhere that falls down dead!
Who is that?
The redskins were defeated?
Wendy and the boys captured by the pirates?
I'll rescue her. I'll rescue her!
Oh, that's just my medicine.
Who could have poisoned it?
You've drunk my medicine.
It was poisoned?
And you drank it to save my life?
Are you dying?
Her light is growing faint.
If it goes out, that means she's dead.
Her voice is so low, I can scarcely hear what she's saying.
She says she thinks she could get well again
if children believed in fairies.
Do you believe in fairies?
Say quick that you believe.
If you believe, clap your hands.
Thank you. Thank you.
SHE SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY
That is Neverland.
So many perfect days.
I really began to believe we'd go on like that forever.
Oh, stop it.
She wasn't going to stay with you forever.
She had a husband - my father.
She never cared for you the way she did for him.
I'm not trying to replace your father, Peter.
I could never do that.
You'd best let him go.
George, would you take the boys back to the house?
I'll be with you in a moment. Go on, dear.
I'm terribly sorry.
I've ruined everything I've touched in this family.
Stop giving yourself so much credit.
Peter's grieving. It has nothing to do with you.
Perhaps if I just had a bit more time with him.
No, Mr Barrie. That won't be good enough.
If "a bit more time" is all you can provide,
you'd better leave him alone.
I know you don't much care for me, Mrs du Maurier, and I respect that,
but I loved your daughter very much.
And I love those boys.
And I think they need me right now.
Is that so?
And for how long after?
Sylvia has requested a co-guardianship for the boys
in her will.
You, Mr Barrie...
And what do you have to say about that?
I shall respect my daughter's wishes.
Something I should have done more of while she was alive.
But if you feel you're not ready for such a commitment,
I assure you I can certainly look after the boys by myself.
Do you think I could abandon those boys?
Sit down, Peter.
Mother pasted it back together.
After I ruined it.
And then I saw the play.
I just started writing,
and I haven't been able to stop.
She would be very pleased to know that.
I've just spoken with your grandmother,
and I'm staying.
I'm sorry I was so horrible.
..I thought she'd always be here.
So did I.
But, in fact...
Because she's on every page...
..of your imagination.
You'll always have her there. Always.
But why did she have to die?
I don't know, boy.
When I think of your mother...
..I will always remember how happy she looked
sitting there in the parlour,
watching a play about her family,
about her boys that never grew up.
She went to Neverland.
And you can visit her any time you like,
if you just go there yourself.
By believing, Peter.
I can see her.
London, 1903. After his latest play flops, JM Barrie finds distraction when he befriends the Llewelyn Davies family - four young boys and their widowed mother Sylvia. His relationship with them threatens his marriage and standing in society, but results in the creation of Peter Pan. Drama inspired by actual events.