JM Barrie's 1904 children's classic Peter Pan, or "The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up", tells the fantasy story of a boy who refuses to mature, preferring instead to remain in Never Land with Indians, his fairy Tinkerbell and The Lost Boys, all on the run from the vicious Captain Hook and his pirate crew.
The pirate theme is even stronger in Gilbert and Sullivan's famous 1880 operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, in which Frederic, a slave to duty, thinks he has finally completed his apprenticeship to a band of pirates when he turns 21. However, his attempts to follow a more honourable profession are scuppered when he realises he was born on February 29 of a leap year - and thus his apprenticeship has many, many more years to run. The score includes 'Poor Wandering One', 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General', 'The Sergeant of Police' and 'Policeman's Chorus'.
Head plays a pair of pirate villains, appearing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan and The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. The actor has become internationally famous for his starring role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, while his other recent screen credits include Spooks, The Family Business, Manchild and Silent Witness.
At the Savoy, both productions will be directed by Steven Dexter and designed by Francis O'Connor, with lighting by Andrew Bridge. They're produced by Raymond Gubbay. Peter Pan is presented by permission of Great Ormond Street Children's Charity, the London hospital to which Barrie donated the rights of his play.
Currently dark, the pirate double bill is preceded at the Savoy by two other productions. The Broadway transfer of Bea Arthur's solo show has a limited season from 15 September to 18 October 2003 and is followed by Jonathan Church's revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, starring Matthew Kelly and George Costigan, which opens on 23 October 2003 (previews from 21 October).
- by Terri Paddock