Friday, August 15, 2008

Don't Tinker with It...

There appears to be a new tradition in productions of the play Peter Pan.
A trend not to my liking. Casting a person as Tinker Bell. Sure, I see that it provides another role when you have a lot of kids/actors who want to participate. But I also think a line must be drawn somewhere. There are a great many roles as it is in Barrie’s production. Asking us to pretend someone is a small, incandescent ball of light is stretching the tensile strength of the suspension of disbelief. Or at least I think so. Consider what Barrie said in his screenplay:
There should never be any close-up pictures of Tink or other fairies; we should always just see them as not more than five inches high.
Granted, this is a stage show and his cinematic command does not apply. However, I think it does have bearing. It seems as if Barrie wanted to maintain a mystery about fairies. By allowing someone to play Tink, is the character not being robbed of her magical quality? The very fact that Tinker Bell is achieved as a special effect gives more power and credence to her magical nature. In this day and age, any number of methods can be employed to bring a fairy to life on stage. But casting a human to be an overgrown fairy? More or less the same size as Peter and Wendy? It just doesn’t seem right at all. Apologies to anyone who has played Tinker Bell. I just don’t see the advantage of making it an actor role.
But no matter what, applaud for her anyway.

* The picture is a portrait of Tink by acclaimed artist Brian Froud.

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