In his book, Fifty Years of Peter Pan, Roger Lancelyn Green, listed three special private performances by the juvenile members of the London company, beginning with a February 19, 1907 performance followed by another on February 9, 1909, and concluding with one from February 3, 1911. The juvenile performances are difficult as only a few programmes were printed for company members. Luck enabled me to add a February 10, 1910 performance in my first book. While I was doing research in London I would use free time to visit museums and galleries. During one such visit to the British Museum, I asked a stranger for directions. She asked me why I was in London and then handed me her card: Margarita Reeve, Ph.D., adding that she had a few pieces of Peter Pan ephemera that might be of interest to me. “One is a unusual Peter Pan programme,” she stated, “:and the other is The Peter Pan Keepsake. Write to me when you get home and I shall see if I can locate them”
At the time I was actually more thrilled about the Keepsake booklet, as it was quite difficult to find a copy in those days before the internet. Little did I realize that the 1910 Juvenile Performance programme would be even more of a catch. Eventually, in 2010, via research at the Theatre Museum in London, I was able to locate another from January 8, 1925 as well as purchasing a February 20, 1906 performance in the nursery of Michael Llewelyn Davies. I also came across the programme from the February 3rd, 1911 performance at the Theatre Museum which I photocopied. Unfortunately, when I transcribed the cast list for my new book, I typed the wrong date; February 5. (Damn, damn, damn! When I told my partner, Dale, of my error, he exclaimed: “OMG! Now I’ll have to start a blog on all of the mistakes Bruce Hanson has made. But then I wouldn’t have time to be updating it every five minutes!”) Therefore, I am including a scan of that cast list as well as scans of the 1906 and 1910 programmes. (The other programmes of which I do not have copies are listed in my book, Peter Pan On Stage and Screen.)
On my next visit to London I’ll be able to spend more time in Theatre Museum reading room to see if I can find any other Juvenile Performance programmes. It seems to me that if there is one such performance in 1925, there probably were others with programmes floating around somewhere waiting to be discovered. Or, perhaps one of my readers has a copy in their collection! It’s interesting to see how many siblings of cast members were included in the Juvenile Performances: practically the whole Hollom family (minus Violet), Ada Glynne, and the Child children.
I should note here as well that on April 28, Cathy Rigby flew for the last time in the musical version of Peter Pan in Boston. For tenacity alone she should be congratulated but Rigby also made a damn good Peter. I hope that she finds other theatrical projects to tour with as she is a talented actress. (Anyone at 60 who can still make an audience believe that she is a boy is tops in my book!)