The original script of Peter Pan begins with a foreword by author J.M. Barrie. He dedicates the work to “the five brothers”. Without them, he writes, this story would never have existed. A noble confession. A chance meeting in the park brought “the five” into Barrie’s life. And he would never let them go again. At last he had the family he had never had; at last he had true muses upon which to graft his writing. The five were more than inspiration. They were the subject. They were his life. They were his imagination. Whether they wanted to or not.
Evelien Bosmans, Joke Emmers, Thomas Janssens and Matthias Meersman put themselves in the position of Barrie. They take the tension between his personal life and his imaginary world as a starting point for this new performance. Can you lose yourself in fantasy? Is reality stronger than imagination? Do we need to escape every now and then, to Neverland or Wonderland or whatever the shelter is called? Does art provide comfort? Or is it just a pipe dream?
Like Barrie, Bosmans, Emmers, Janssens and Meersman are surrounded by ‘lost boys’. Children who are labeled as ‘lost boys’ for this or that reason. Like Barrie and Peter Pan, they pull them into Neverland. They are the subject. They are life. They are their imagination. Whether they want it or not.