Poster advertising J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan
Duke of York's Theatre, London
28 December, 1904
Charles Buchel (artist)
Museum no. S.258-1998
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This poster for the original production of Peter Pan in 1904 was designed by Charles Buchel, an artist who loved the theatre and who claimed that he 'probably had as sitters, more actors and actresses than any other living artist'. Buchel provided artwork for most of the leading actor-managers of the day, and painted theatrical scenes and portraits for illustrated magazines. He was most closely associated, however, with the actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree who owned His Majesty's Theatre. Over a period of 16 years he commissioned Buchel to provide illustrations for his posters and brochures, oil paintings - several of himself in roles, and designs for decorating his apartment at the theatre. This image shows Peter flying Wendy away to NeverLand, the lighted windows of the houses below a memory of the home she has left and the sea beyond a reference to the island life to come.