West End Plays

Peter and Alice Reviews - Noel Coward Theatre

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Venue Information
Noel Coward Theatre

Noel Coward Theatre
85-88 St Martin's Lane

Seating Plan


(2mins) Take Cranbourn Street away from Leicester Square until St Martin’s Lane, where you head right until you reach the theatre.

Review Summary
Average Rating: 4 out of 5 stars based on 10 review(s)


Latest Review: "Beautiful production, cleverly written and a passionate performance from an exceptional cast. Poi..."

Reviews Sort by
    Saturday, 1st Jun 2013 by Clair

Beautiful production, cleverly written and a passionate performance from an exceptional cast. Poignant, heartfelt and mesmerising are a few words I can use to explain how honoured I was to watch this performance.

I don't think there was a dry eye left in the house. Thank you for such a wonderful experience.

    Saturday, 4th May 2013 by H J Mac

This play left us with so much food for thought. It's incredibly moving and beautifully put together. I expected Judi Dench to be wonderful, and she really is. It's incredible to watch her transformation from a poorly octogenarian to a sprightly 10 year old, to a young woman on the dance floor showing on her face how ambivalent she is about growing up and getting married. Ben Wishaw was a revelation to me, the best young actor I've seen on the stage for years.

The real life story of Peter is so tragic, we know that, but the play really digs into the issues of growing up and how difficult that is to negotiate, especially for Peter and his poor brother Michael.

One of the cleverest scenes has the characters, Alice and Peter, turn on their elder namesakes, confronting them with their adult frailties and betrayals. There's also a lovely idea of Alice becoming Wendy, beautifully portrayed by Dame Judi.

I think the themes here will be easy for people to relate to, unless they've been incredibly lucky and never had any sadness or struggles, even I'm sure the characters are well drawn enough to feel empathy for them.

    Tuesday, 23rd Apr 2013 by David Cox

Peter and Alice 20th April 2013

For ten years Michael Grandage oversaw excellent productions as Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse. He is now involved in 5 shows at the Noel Coward theatre, featuring the cream of British theatrical talent. Having seen the two previous West End productions of “Privates On Parade” I was more keen to see the only new play of the season “Peter And Alice” by John Logan.

Following on from the success of “Red” based upon Mark Rothko he has now turned his attention on the meeting of Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Peter Llewellyn Davies. These are the two real people that two of children’s literature favourite characters are

based upon, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan”.

This extraordinary premise is turned into a scintillating drama where the protagonists reveal the pleasures and pain of unexpectedly and unwillingly being chosen for immortality. The casting of Judi Dench and Ben Wishaw is truly inspiring. They both effortlessly recapture their youthful selves which led to their appearances in print as well as showing how each dealt differently with their unsought notoriety. The scene where Alice reaches her hand to claim the lost Peter is truly heart-breaking.

This is theatre at its best. Sensibly running at ninety minutes without a break it ensures the momentum built up is not deflated by the imposition of an interval.

Oddly enough both performances and writer were involved in the most recent James Bond film “Skyfall”, but here we are in completely different territory.

The writers involved Lewis Carroll and James Barried are both well played by Nicholas Farrell and Derek Riddell with Ruby Bentall and Olly Alexander impressively creating the bewildered “Alice In Wonderland” and “ Peter Pan”. But the evening belongs to the lead actors.

Remaining on stage throughout Miss Dench belies her age with as good a performance I can recall seeing from her (and I have seen countless over the years). In

contrast Ben Wishaw re-states his claim to be amongst the best actors of his generation with a welcome return to the stage.

There is a reason why House Full signs are showing outside the Noel Coward theatre. Grab a ticket while you still can.

    Wednesday, 27th Mar 2013 by ColinG

Romaine's review (21 March) just goes to prove the old addage "you can't please all of the people all of the time". I saw the play last night and loved it - even from the Grand Circle slips where I had to lean forward throughout to see the whole width of the stage. For me "pretentious, boring and muddled" it was not. I learned things I didn't know, I was entertained and moved to tears by the story and the performances of all involved.

    Tuesday, 26th Mar 2013 by Rob

Dreadful dreadful play with some poor performances. It's well documented Dame Judi doesn't read new work - she will do a play if she feels like it. I bet any money she is regretting doing this one! It is dire - one consolation it is short.

    Monday, 25th Mar 2013 by ledcam

Going in to the theatre I knew relatively little of the play's subject matter. I was transfixed over the next 90 minutes or so as this beautifully sad tale unfolds. Dench and Whishaw are superb in the leads and are more than ably supported by the other cast members - perhaps most by Derek Riddell who plays JM Barrie.

    Saturday, 23rd Mar 2013 by Sarah

Absolutely fantastic such depth and a very thought provoking script. Gripping performance by all actors.

    Saturday, 23rd Mar 2013 by Angela

Layers that peeled away with humour and tragedy. Performances were electric, especially from leads. The ending was beautifully staged.

    Friday, 22nd Mar 2013 by Sandy

A slow start but then suddenly I was hooked . Peter Pan delivering the names of the dead in WW1 had me in tears. I loved the combination of wit and tragedy. The leads individual performances were , as expected, great but their combined performance was electric. But then everyone in the play was very good. Not a weak performance in sight A special and moving experience .. I could see it again and again and still find something new.

    Thursday, 21st Mar 2013 by romaine

Thank god it was a short play. If it had had an interval, my party would not have come back in. This mix of fact and fantasy was pretentious, boring and muddled. Just seems as though they had got a couple of famous people together and thats enough. I got nothing from this play, except for two shockingly sad moments that had me gagging to know more. They were such obviously disparate characters that the attempt to mould them into one story just didn't work.


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Show Information
Booking From: Saturday, 9th March 2013
Booking Until: Saturday, 1st June 2013
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Show Status: production_closed

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