Originally developed by Disney Theatrical Group, written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Adams Family), with music by Wayne Barker, this all-new production is directed by David Morton (Holding Achilles, The Wider Earth).
Peter and the Starcatcher is the untold story of Neverland. Before Neverland there was an island. Before Captain Hook, a moustachioed pirate. Before Wendy, her mother Molly. Before Peter, a nameless orphan.
Reimagined by Australia’s Dead Puppet Society, acclaimed for creating visually astounding worlds, this highly anticipated version of Peter and the Starcatcher blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, traversing oceans of mystical mermaids, and lands of curious creatures.
This production is a major achievement for Brisbane-based production and design house Dead Puppet Society who, in an Australian first, have been granted a licence by Disney Theatrical Group to stage a new version of the Tony Award winning production.
The creativity, passion and determination of Creative Director David Morton and Executive Producer Nicholas Paine was the driving force behind the achievement with that same attitude to continually push the boundaries, sure to make this production an international success.
“Peter and the Starcatcher holds a very special place in the hearts of all of us at Disney Theatrical,” said Felipe Gamba, Vice President International Strategy and Licensed Partnerships, Disney Theatrical Group.
“The artists involved in crafting this brilliant play – playwright Rick Elice, original directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, and their entire team, created a unique and memorable world of theatrical inventiveness out of a bucket, a piece of rope and a ladder. Their vision conquered hearts off and on Broadway, around the United States and various international territories.”
“Very fitting to have our play now in the incredibly talented hands of Dead Puppet Society, who will lend their own masterful ability to conjure up imaginative worlds on stage to deliver a brand-new production of it for Australian audiences. We are thrilled to see this come together,” said Gamba.
“The initial production of Peter and the Starcatcher was a passion project – just a great group of artists and high expectations,” said playwright Rick Elice. “To see the play come to life over and over again around the world is a joy I never expected.
“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,” said Elice.
Director and Designer, Dead Puppet Society’s Creative Director David Morton, explains the significance of being granted the opportunity to reimagine Peter and the Starcatcher. “Nearly everyone knows the tale of Peter Pan, but Peter and Wendy’s origin story has been a much more closely guarded secret,” he said.
“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.”
“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,” said Morton.
Dead Puppet Society is the brainchild of David Morton and Nicholas Paine and since its beginnings in 2009 has established itself as one of Australia’s most ground-breaking production houses, bringing its works to stages across Australia, London and New York.
They are known for combining timeless craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies, and collaborating with world class creatives to produce large-scale visually stunning works that shake up genres and incorporate contemporary methods of puppetry.
Recent box office hits include Holding Achilles (Brisbane Festival and Sydney Festival), The Wider Earth (Australian National Tour, Natural History Museum London), Ishmael (Brisbane Festival, Regional Queensland Tour), Laser Beak Man (Brisbane Festival, National Tour) and Storm Boy. The company has been nominated for an Olivier Award and 6 Helpmann Awards.
Peter and the Starcatcher is written by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker. This new Australian production is Directed and Designed by David Morton, Musical Director and Additional Music by James Dobinson, Movement Director Liesel Zink, Lighting Designer Ben Hughes, Costume Designer Anna Cordingley and Sound Design by Matthew Erskine. Casting Director Michael Topple, Creative Producer Nicholas Paine and Associate Director Matt Seery.
Experience the joy of this theatrical spectacle with over 100 unforgettable characters, puppetry, live music, and technical wizardry – jump onboard this epic pre-Pan voyage and discover the untold story of Neverland.
Peter and the Starcatcher will have it premiere at the Canberra Theatre Centre in October 2024 before seasons at Arts Centre Melbourne in November 2024, Adelaide Festival Centre in January 2025, Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in January and February 2025 and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in March 2025.
Tickets are now on sale for Melbourne. Canberra will go on sale on Wednesday 13 December. A waitlist is available for Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. For more information, visit: www.peterandthestarcatcher.com.au for details.
Image: Peter and the Starcatcher (set model) – courtesy of Dead Puppet Society