13th May 2016 : Page 1

The Lady May 13, 2016 00:00

In this issue of The Lady : Dear Readers,
At the very first performance of Peter Pan in
1904 it was noted, with astonishment, that a
great number of adults in the audience clapped
their hands when asked if they believed in
fairies. This exemplifies the universal appeal
of JM Barrie’s creation: it speaks to the child in all of us.
For many youngsters today, the only reference point for
the story is the sugary Disney version. Now a new exhibition,
a glimpse of which we feature this
week, offers a fascinating insight into
the authentic Peter Pan.
It was Barrie’s empathy with
children that prompted him to donate the royalties from his play
to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1929, and it is, surely, a
similar empathy which underlies Juliet Stevenson’s campaign on
behalf of child refugees. In a highly personal interview she talks
with passion about the plight of these desperate people, the loss
of her close friend Alan Rickman and the changing nature of her
career as she approaches 60.
Sixty may be the new 40, but it can also herald an age where
some of us start to feel a bit of wear and tear. Keen gardeners will
know that gardening provides excellent health benefits – but if
not done correctly, it can cause aches and pains. This week’s
Chelsea Flower Show feature includes invaluable advice enabling
us to enjoy twinge-free gardening into ripe old age. And when
you’re not digging you could try listening to your garden – see
the companion feature in which Peter Eustance talks about his
extraordinary ‘acoustic’ garden, on display at this year’s show.

Until next week

Sam Taylor

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