Though Michael Jackson, who of course named his ranch Neverland, never got to fulfil his dream of playing Peter Pan, he’s once more linked with “the boy who never grew up” even in death. Later this year, the current Kensington Gardens production of Peter Pan will fly in to The O2 to fill some of the programming slack left by Jackson’s death and the subsequent cancellation of his high-profile concert season.

Peter Pan is currently running in Kensington Gardens, in a purpose-built 1,100-seat tent, where it opened on 10 June 2009 (previews from 26 May) and finishes its extended season this Sunday 13 September (See News, 26 Feb 2009).

At The O2, the £3 million, 3D-enhanced staging of Peter Pan will have a Christmas stint from 1 December 2009 to 10 January 2010. The purpose-built pavilion will be erected anew, and with an increased capacity of 1,350, in The O2’s Meridian Gardens.

Next year, following The O2 dates, Peter Pan will launch a 20-month North American tour from San Francisco in May, with a second production opening in New Zealand in January 2011 at the start of a Far Eastern tour.

This new version of JM Barrie’s 1904 family classic, adapted by Tanya Ronder and directed by Ben Harrison. Neverland – and the journey to it over the rooftops of London – is brought to life with a 360-degree, 3D virtual environment designed by William Dudley.

The cast of Peter Pan is led by Ciaran Kellgren (as Peter), Abby Ford (Wendy Darling), Jonathan Hyde (Captain Hook/Mr Darling), Karen Ascoe (Mrs Darling/Never Bird) and Itxaso Moreno (Tinkerbell), with Arthur Wilson (John Darling) and David Poynor (Michael Darling). The production is presented by Charlie Burnell and Mat Churchill, by arrangement with the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Samuel French Limited.