I know we 'trade' on our 'Beyond Peter Pan' label, but that's not because we don't appreciate it. It's just a way to redress the balance. Still, sometimes, the opportunity comes to look at things from a different perspective and recently we came across these two versions.
1) 1924 Silent version - in Barrie's lifetime and 2) 1976 'musical' version. Both run about an hour and forty minutes. So sit down with a cup of tea/coffee and have an adventure in your armchair!
One of our members (Cliff Coles) is working on preparing a new Society edition of 'Jane Annie' libretto and score.
If anyone has any insight or interest in this play, please give us your comments below:
Member Elena Silvestri Cecinelli (who edited and wrote the introduction to our Society Volume 'My Lady Nicotine and other short works') is working on a Society edition of Ibsen's Ghost and other plays.
If anyone has comments or contributions to make to this, please do so below:
John Donne said 'No man is an island.' Barrie disagreed. Islands feature in much of Barrie's work and we might even say he developed a 'Theory of Islands'. If you want an introduction into this, why not check out Barrie's own 1894 article 'Wrecked on an Island' and Cally Phillips' 2018 conference paper 'Islands and Identity'
'We have a society edition which includes 'Better Dead', 'Echoes of the War' and 'Farewell, Miss Julie Logan'
'Better Dead' was Barrie's first, self-published, novella, written in 1887 and published in 1888.
In a later introduction to the work Barrie wrote:
'I have a sentimental interest in 'Better Dead,' for it was my first - published when I had small hope of getting anyone to accept the Scotch - and there was a week when I loved to carry it in my pocket and did not think it dead weight.'
Our Honorary President Andrew Nash wrote an article about it in 2015 for the Scottish Literary Review, titled 'Better Dead: J.M.Barrie's first book and the shilling fiction market.'
2018 saw the anniversary of the publication of 'Echoes of the War,' four short plays about the First World war. These are both funny and poignant as well as hugely revealing as regards the experience of ordinary people during that time. 'A Well Remembered Voice' was given a 'scratch' reading at our 2018 Barrie Birthday celebrations and Cally Phillips gave a talk on the collection at Wigtown Book Festival later in the year.
Farewell, Miss Julie Logan' is Barrie's last short prose fiction. It is still well received where it is read and offers an interesting juxtaposition with his earlier works as well as revisiting some familiar themes.
The Society edition is available at www.unco.scot HERE or at Amazon (UK) and worldwide . Make sure you buy the Society editions as all profit goes directly back into promoting the J.M.Barrie Literary Society.
At the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, July 2018 From the Director’s notes we learn that Jez Pike has “re-imagined” Quality Street to “imbue the play with a feminist voice” and present Valentine Brown as “a more emotionally complex character” than in Barrie’s original romantic comedy. The “re-imagination” works well. Phoebe Throssel is freed from the constraints of her gender role in the Edwardian society for which Barrie wrote. Valentine is made to re-consider his previously held male expectations of women. At the end of this new version of the play, their shared declaration of love is as dramatically satisfying as it is psychologically true in terms of their characters as Pike presents them. Barrie’s plot hinges on the extent to which the audience suspends its disbelief that Valentine can’t recognise Miss Livvy and Miss Phoebe are one and the same. At the Maddermarket, Phoebe’s transformation from mob-capped school teacher to ringleted and flirtatious Livvy is completely convincing. This is just as well as, at this point in the play, the Maddermarket’s production fails to communicate any sense whatsoever of a ball (with music and dancing) taking place! Typically with the Maddermarket’s amateur cast every character looks just right for his or her part. Bizarrely, Valentine Brown is similar in appearance and manner to Norfolk-brought up Stephen Fry. All of Barrie’s main characters consistently engage the audience throughout. Susan Throssel stands out as the perfect “old maid”, humorous but near-tragic in the way she projects her own experience of unrequited love onto her younger sister. In bitter sweet “Quality Street” Barrie contrives to raise contemporary issues facing women. Despite Internet dating, how does the like of Susan find her lifetime companion?
The place for people to find out more and exchange their thoughts about Barrie's work