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Lost Boy at two London venues

Lost Boy

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING the success of his musical Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi in Liverpool, London and the USA, Phil Willmott’s new musical, Lost Boy, premieres at the Finborough Theatre on New Year’s Eve.

After a two week run – from Tuesday, December 31, 2013 to Saturday, January 11, 2014 – it will move to Charing Cross Theatre for a five week run – from Monday, January 13 to Saturday, February 15, 2014.

A stirring, controversial and unexpected opening to a year commemorating the centenary of the Great War, Lost Boy is a dark sequel to Peter Pan reuniting J. M. Barrie’s characters as young adults on the eve of the First World War.

It stars Olivier Award nominee Andrew C. Wadsworth as Captain Hook.

How has their extraordinary childhood equipped them for reality? And how much does the child we were inform the adult we become?

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 J. M. 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?

The culture clash between the enchantment of childhood fantasy and real life provides a rich vein for humour and drama as this original story 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.

Willmott’s original songs – blending a contemporary music theatre style with music hall influences – 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 (Victoria Palace Theatre). Collins’ recent work in new musical theatre writing includes Dougal Irvine’s The Other School (St James’ Theatre for National Youth Music Theatre), Wah! Wah! Girls (Kneehigh and Sadler’s Wells at Leicester Curve, Peacock Theatre, London and UK Tour) and Rifco’s Britain’s Got Bhangra (Theatre Royal, Stratford East and UK Tour).

Willmott directs a cast that also includes Steven Butler, Lauren Cocoracchio, Grace Gardner, Hannah Grace, Richard James-King, Natalie Lipin, Luka Markus, Max Panks, David Scotland, Joseph Taylor and Joanna Woodward.

Multi award-winning composer, writer and director Phil Willmott is one of the most commissioned musical theatre writers in the UK with original musicals currently in development at Shakespeare’s Globe, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and the New Wolsey Ipswich. As well as Once Upon a Time at The Adelphi, his past musicals include Secret Love (National Tour), the widely and 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) and London’s annual Free Theatre Festival at the open-air “Scoop” amphitheatre on the South Bank.

Lost Boy has choreography by Racky Plews, who was recently nominated by Broadway World for Best Choreography in bare – the rock musical (Union Theatre). She is currently in rehearsals for Seussical The Musical (Arts Theatre).

Presented by Steven M. Levy and Sean Sweeney and The Steam Industry in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, Lost Boy is designed by Phil Lindley, with lighting by Miguel Vicente, musical direction by Isaac McCullough and musical supervision by Mark Collins.

Lost Boy is suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets (Finborough Theatre): £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £14 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (December 31 and January 1) £12 all seats. £10 tickets for Under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. £12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, January 4, 2014 when booked online. To book, call the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/.

Times (Finborough Theatre): Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Sunday matinees at 3pm; Saturday matinee at 3pm on January 11 January.

Tickets (Charing Cross Theatre): £15 – £24.50 (note: slips at £15; balcony £19.50 and stalls £24.50). To book, call the box office on 08444 930650 or visit www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/.

Times (Charing Cross Theatre): Mondays to Saturday evenings at 7:30pm; Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Running Time: Approximately two hours with one interval of fifteen minutes.