Wendy is a Darling
Now that our Peter Pan cast has been announced our budding young performers are beginning to research their roles and learn their lines. Sarah Hall, of St John's Catholic School, will fill the role of the leading lady, Wendy Darling. But who is Wendy really? What does it mean to be a Darling? What is her part in the story of Peter Pan?
The role of Wendy is a particular challenge for any young woman. She is a natural born leader, a mother figure, a growing woman, sympathetic, soft but strong. To be successful at Wendy, a young actress needs to hold her own on a stage dominated by boys. It is truly Wendy whose story we follow. We are experiencing Peter through her eyes, from her perspective.
We are watching Wendy as she journeys from a girl into a young lady, as she lives out her childhood fantasies and becomes aware of the realities of those dreams. Her story is in some ways quite sad in that regard. Whilst some may think of Peter Pan as a story of holding on to childhood, it is also the story of Wendy's childhood coming to an end. That is the great contrast in our leading characters. When all things are said and done, John and Michael, being as young and naive as they are, would have returned home only sparingly moved by their adventure. But for Wendy, she returns conscious of the surreal, and the dangerous.
But she is brave. Wendy is a warrior, and a leader, which comes through in her interactions with her siblings and the boys of Neverland. It gleams in her dealings with Peter when he remains firm in his decision to stay a boy forever. It is reflected in Tigerlily as she stands guard for the Lost Boys and Peter. Wendy holds her own, and that is something incredulous when considering the period in which her story was written.
1/11/2022 12:12:11 am
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