Peter Pan and Wendy by Margaret Larlham

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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must not be Performed or Copied without the Author’s prior consent


PROLOGUE

      (BRAVE BAND plays overture. BRAVE ONE thanks audience for applause and
      announces imminent arrival of TIGER LILY. TIGER LILY enters. She sings
      to BRAVES rock band accompaniment.)

      SONG
      Are you the one?
          We all have to grow up
          Stand tall, learn to own up
          Start small then you grow up
          Start loud, learn to shut up!
      Are you the one they speak of?
          All children have to grow up
          All children have to grow up
          But grown-ups know you never grow up!
      Not really!

          TIGER LILY
      Once upon a never time in a
      second-to-the-right-and-straight-on-till-morning Neverland of dreams,
      a fairy boy and a living, breathing Darling girl swung through the
      stars and thwarted pirates’ schemes. It’s your story too! Are you the
      one? Are you the one they speak of? All children grow up except one!

          ACT 1

          SCENE 1: Shadow at the Window

          (Interior of a Victorian bedroom and living room. Silk curtains at
      the upstairs window sway gently in the evening breeze. A large dog
      kennel downstairs.)

      AT RISE:      The moon rises. Enter PETER PAN, his SHADOW and TINKERBELL
      are seen silhouetted against the moon. Glow from upstairs window of
      the Darling house. Large bed.

          (Enter NANA)

          NANA
      Ruff!
          (Howls at moon.)

          (Enter MRS.DARLING)

          MRS.DARLlNG
      Dear Nana, where are the children? Have you bathed
      Michael and John? What a treasure and a blessing you are! You know Mr.
      Darling and I have to… How I wish we did not have to attend a dinner
      party tonight—but I suppose…! Goodness!
          (Sees PETER PAN and SHADOW.)
      Look Nana! Do you see? Look! A—what is that . . .?

          (PETER PAN and SHADOW ONE appear in the window.)

          (NANA barks. SHADOW ONE comes in through window. MRS. DARLING closes
      window. Enter the double-SHADOW TWO. The two SHADOWS alternate showing
      themselves in different areas of the stage—SHADOW thus appearing to
      transport magically. MRS DARLING and NANA bewildered by movement of
      SHADOW but continue to chase SHADOW.)
          MRS. DARLING
      Oh! Oh, my goodness…Nana!

          (NANA Barks)

          MRS.DARLING
      Let’s get them, Nana! One—two—three!

          (MRS DARLING and NANA chase, catch and separate PETER from his
      SHADOW. PETER PAN escapes through the window but MRS DARLING and NANA
      capture SHADOW and place “it” in the BACKLIT SHADOW BOX/CLOSET. We see
      the SHADOW frantic as light in BACKLIT SHADOW BOX/CLOSET fades. MRS.
      DARLING and NANA congratulate each other.)


          SCENE 2: Playing Grown-up

      (Enter MICHAEL/LIGHT SHADOW TWO running toward and then evading
      NANA.)

          MICHAEL
          (Obstreperous)
      I won’t go to bed, I won’t, I won’t! Nana, it isn’t six o’clock yet. I
      tell you I will not be bathed.

          (Exit MICHAEL and NANA. Enter WENDY and JOHN/LIGHT SHADOW FIVE)

          WENDY + JOHN
      Mother!
          (Hug her)

          WENDY
      Mother, we are playing!

          JOHN
      We are doing an act; we are playing at being you and father.
          (Admonishing tone as NANA barks offstage)
      A little less noise there, Michael!

          WENDY
      Now, John, let us pretend we have a baby.

          JOHN
          (Good-naturedly)
      I am happy to inform you, Mrs. Darling, that you are now a mother.
          (WENDY gives way to ecstasy.)
      But Wendy—you have missed the chief thing; you haven’t asked, “boy
      or girl?”

          WENDY
      I am so glad to have one at all, I don’t care which it is!

          JOHN
          (Crushingly)
      That is just the difference between gentlemen and ladies. Now you tell
      me!

          WENDY
      I am happy to acquaint you, Mr. Darling—you are now a father.

          JOHN
      Boy or girl?

          WENDY
          (Presenting herself)
      Girl!

          (Enter MICHAEL.)

          MICHAEL
      Can I play?

          JOHN
      No!

          MICHAEL
      Am I not to be born at all?

          JOHN
      Two is enough!

          MICHAEL
      Nobody wants me!

          MRS. DARLING
      I do!

          MICHAEL
      Boy or girl?

          MRS. DARLING
          (Conciliatory)
      Boys and girl!


      SCENE 3: Mr. Darling Has a Bad Day

          (Enter MR.DARLING “as a tornado,” brandishing in his hand a
      recalcitrant tie.)

          MR. DARLING
      Oh, here you are, Mary.

          MRS. DARLING
          (Knowing full well)
      What is the matter, George dear?

          MR. DARLING
      Matter! This tie, it will not tie.
          (Sarcastic)
      Not round my neck. Round the bed-post, oh yes; twenty times have I
      made it up round the bed-post, but round my neck, oh dear no!

          (WENDY, MICHAEL, JOHN and NANA blanch as they grasp the gravity of
      the situation.)

          MRS. DARLING
      Let me try, dear! Wendy…Michael?

          (WENDY, MRS. DARLING, MICHAEL, JOHN all help to tie the tie.)

          MR. DARLING
      I warn you, Mary, that unless this tie is round my neck we don’t go
      out to dinner to-night, and if I don’t go out to dinner to-night I
      never go to the office again, and if I don’t go to the office again
      you and I starve, and our children will be thrown into the streets!

          (Enter NANA chasing JOHN.)

          JOHN
          (Rebellious)
      I won’t be bathed. You needn’t think it!

          (JOHN collides with Mr. DARLING.)

          MR. DARLING
          (Grandiose)
      Go and be bathed at once, sir!

      (Resigned, JOHN follows NANA. MR. DARLING swells with satisfaction.
      Unfortunately NANA collides with MR. DARLING on the way to the
      bathroom.)

          MR. DARLING
      Clumsy, clumsy dog!

          (ALL shocked at his use of the word “dog.” NANA exits, a drooping
      figure.)

          MR. DARLING
          (Depressed)
      I sometimes think, Mary, that it is a mistake to have a dog for a
      nurse.

          MRS. DARLING
      George, Nana is a treasure! We cannot do without her!

          MR. DARLING
      No doubt; but she looks upon the children as puppies.

          MRS. DARLING
          (Faintly)
      Oh no, dear one, I am sure she knows they have souls.

          MR. DARLING
          (Profoundly)
      I wonder, I wonder!

      (The opportunity has come for MRS. DARLING to tell him of something
      that is on her mind.)

          MRS. DARLING
      George, we must keep Nana. I will tell you why.
          (Her seriousness impresses him.)
      My dear, when I came into this room to-night I saw a face at the
      window.

          MR. DARLING
          (Incredulous)
      A face at the window, three floors up? Pooh!

          MRS. DARLING
      It was the face of a little boy; he was trying to get in.

          MR. DARLING
      In here?

          MRS.DARLING
      Yes! He escaped, but Nana and I caught his shadow!

          MR. DARLING
      Mary, Mary, such nonsense!

          MRS. DARLING
          (Triumphant)
      I have the shadow. I rolled it up, George; and here it is.

          (The BACKLIT SHADOW BOX/CLOSET lights up and reveals an angry
      combative SHADOW ONE trying to escape.)

          MR. DARLING
      It is nobody I know, but he does look a scoundrel.

          MRS. DARLING
      What if he comes back to get his shadow, George?

          MR. DARLING
      I dare say…hmm!
      (He sees himself telling the story to the other stools at the office.)

      There is money in this, my love. I shall take it to the British Museum
      to-morrow and have it priced.

          (SHADOW ONE light fades out)

          MRS. DARLING
      Yes.
          (Sliding her hand into his)
      George, what can all this mean?

          MR. DARLING
      What indeed!

          (MR. DARLING gives MRS. DARLING a hug and kiss.)

          (This intimate scene is broken by the return of MICHAEL and NANA with
      a spoon in her mouth. Enter WENDY and JOHN following.)

          MRS. DARLING
          (Dissembling)
      What is that, Nana? Ah, of course; Michael, it is time for your
      medicine.

          MICHAEL
          (Rudely)
      Won’t take it!

          MR. DARLING
          (Recalling his youth)
      Be a man, Michael!

          MICHAEL
      Won’t!

          MRS. DARLING
          (Weakly)
      I’ll get you a lovely chocky to take after it.

      (MRS. DARLING exits. MR. DARLING calls after her.)

          MR. DARLING
      Mary, don’t pamper him. 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.”

          WENDY
          (Produces medicine bottle and takes spoon from NANA.)
      Take some, Father! Show him how you take it, Father!
          (Proudly, as she pours medicine onto spoon)
      Michael, now you will see how father takes it!

          MR. DARLING
          (Hedging)
      Michael first!

          JOHN
      Father first!

          MR. DARLING
      Hold your tongue, sir!

          WENDY
          (Sweetly)
      I thought you took it quite easily, father, saying “Thank you, kind
      parents, for———”

          MR. DARLING
      That is not the point!

          MICHAEL
      Father’s a cowardy custard.

          MR. DARLING
      So are you a cowardy custard.

          (They are now glaring at each other.)

          MICHAEL
      I’m not frightened.

          MR. DARLING
      Neither am I frightened.

          MICHAEL
      Well, then, take it.

          MR. DARLING
      Well, then, you take it.

          WENDY
      Why not take it at the same time?

          MR. DARLING
          (Haughtily)
      Certainly. Are you ready, Michael?

          WENDY
      One—two—three…

          (MICHAEL partakes, but MR. DARLING resorts to hanky-panky.)

          JOHN
      Father hasn’t taken his!

          (MICHAEL howls.)

          WENDY
          (Pained)
      Oh father!

          (WENDY and ALL exit to inform MRS. DARLING.)
      Mother!

          MR. DARLING
          (Left alone, to audience)
      I meant to take mine but I—missed it. I say, I have just thought of
      a splendid joke. I shall pour my medicine into Nana’s bowl, and she
      will drink it thinking it is milk!

[end of extract]

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