Courtenay Little Theatre brings Peter and the Starcatcher to life

Directed by Lori Mazey, this is a prequel to the classic Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.

Molly (Islay McKechnie) and Boy

Molly (Islay McKechnie) and Boy

Alana Gowdy

Special to The Record

Hands up if you know a person called Wendy. One hundred years ago, very, very few hands would have been raised, for the name Wendy had just been invented.

In 1907, when J.M. Barrie presented his stage play, he needed a name for a very special girl. This girl not only befriended a boy who didn’t want to grow up, but took off with him to Never Never Land.

The boy had a name already. Barrie had made up a series of stories to entertain the sons of good friends. They heard how their youngest brother, Peter, learned to fly and had wonderful adventures. So, joined with the name of the god who enjoys nature, wild things and frolicking with nymphs, Peter Pan leapt from a minor character in a minor story, to the toast of London’s West End.

Other friends of Barrie had a young daughter who called him Mr. Friendly, but she had a problem with pronunciation. As a result, the name was closer to Mr. Fwendy. Barrie played with this sound and the name Wendy was born.

In Courtenay Little Theatre’s upcoming production of Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Ellice, we meet other people whose names become familiar. Based on the bestselling books by Dave Barrie and Ridley Pearson, many questions are answered. What happened to Captain Hook? He can’t always have had a hook. How did Peter end up in Never Never Land? Who is this marvellous, smart, spunky girl who would become the mother of the wonderful Wendy? Is it possible to become what we want to be, just by splashing in the right water? Is Captain Scott really on his way to the Antarctic? And the really big question – what happened before Peter flew into that bedroom?

Directed by Lori Mazey, this prequel to the classic Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, provides superb entertainment for adults and children, school-aged and up. The show was a huge success in New York, winning five Tony awards. Its exhilarating story is told on an amazing set made of planks, ropes, and buckets. This is the ReStore come to Victorian England.

Performances inspired by Peter Pan range from opera in Stuttgart to puppets and Celtic music in Scotland. There has been a film in Spain and a musical in Copenhagen.

Peter and the Starcatcher, a play with music, is the latest addition to this long and diverse heritage. With energy, humour and imagination, Courtenay Little Theatre is bringing its magic, with maybe a hint of mayhem, to the holiday season.

Performances will be at the Sid Williams Theatre, opening with a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 26, and 7:30 p.m. performances from Dec. 27–31. Tickets ($20 for matinee and $22 evening performances) can be purchased at the theatre box office in person at 442 Cliffe Ave., by phone at 250-338-2430 ext. 1, or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read