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Tony-Winning Neverland-Set Hit 'Peter and the Starcatcher' Is Finally Making Its Australian Debut

Dead Puppet Society is reimagining this Disney stage favourite, which is a prequel to JM Barrie's 'Peter and Wendy'.
By Sarah Ward
December 06, 2023
By Sarah Ward
December 06, 2023

Cinderella, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast have all taken to Australia's stages in recent years, bringing beloved narratives that everyone associates with Disney movies from the cinema to the theatre. For the next show that falls into that category, no one needs to grow up. The inhabitants of Neverland, where Peter and the Starcatcher is set, certainly aren't known to.

A five-time Tony Award-winner for its 2012 Broadway season, the production earned theatre's coveted accolades for its costumes, sound design, scenic design and lighting, and for Best Featured Actor in a Play — but the version that's coming to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane comes with a twist. For Peter and the Starcatcher's long-awaited Aussie debut, Dead Puppet Society (The Wider Earth, Ishmael) is reimagining the stage favourite, which is a prequel to JM Barrie's Peter and Wendy.

Accordingly, from October 2024, expect puppets helping to spin a tale that features more than 100 characters, as well as live tunes. Originally based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's novel Peter and the Starcatchers, then adapted for the stage by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), the play heads to Neverland before Peter Pan visited — before Captain Hook inspired terror, too. So, it's an origin story, complete with an island, a moustachioed pirate, an orphan without a name and Wendy's mother Molly.

"The initial production of Peter and the Starcatcher was a passion project — just a great group of artists and high expectations. To see the play come to life over and over again around the world is a joy I never expected," said Elice.

"And to witness the marriage of this humble piece with the vast imagination and ingenuity of Dead Puppet Society is more than a joy, it's a privilege — and, for this playwright, an inspiration."

Scott Barton

"Nearly everyone knows the tale of Peter Pan, but Peter and Wendy's origin story has been a much more closely guarded secret. Rick Elice's incredible play takes the characters we know and love and charts the course they take to Neverland and into the classics when a group of lost orphans, moustachioed pirates, and Wendy's mother Molly collide over a trunk full of Starstuff, the most powerful substance on earth," added Dead Puppet Society's Creative Director David Morton.

"This lightning-paced, whimsical show was a mega hit on Broadway. To have the opportunity to bring an all-new production to Australian audiences, reimagined with Dead Puppet Society's approach to design-led theatre and stagecraft, is both an honour and a dream come true."

"Ultimately this is a story of villains finding their heroes, of timeless friendships and fates that can't be avoided. But don't be fooled... this isn't just a show for young people, it's for the young at heart, and anyone else who never wanted to grow up."


From Tuesday, October 15, 2024 — Canberra Theatre, Canberra
From Friday, November 8, 2024 — Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne
From Thursday, January 9, 2025 — Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide
From Friday, January 31, 2025 — Capitol Theatre, Sydney
From Friday, March 14, 2025 — QPAC, Brisbane

Peter and the Starcatcher will tour Australia across 2024–25 — head to the production's website for tickets for Melbourne now, tickets for Canberra from Wednesday, December 13 and to join the waitlist for other cities. 

Published on December 06, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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