Peter and Alice

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Peter and Alice
Peter and Alice.jpg
Written byJohn Logan
CharactersPeter Llewelyn Davies, Alice Liddell
Date premiered25 March 2013 (2013-03-25)
Place premieredNoël Coward Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
SettingBookshop, London

Peter and Alice is a play by American writer John Logan based on the meeting of 80-year-old Alice Liddell and Peter Llewelyn Davies, then in his thirties, in a London bookshop in 1932, at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition. The production was directed by Michael Grandage and was performed by Judi Dench as Alice and Ben Whishaw as Peter.


The play is based on a meeting between Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the woman who inspired Alice, and Peter Llewellyn Davies, one of the boys who inspired Peter Pan, at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932. The play sees enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bare the lives of these two characters.


Understudies include:

  • Stefano Braschi for Peter Llewelyn Davies;
  • Georgina Beedle for Alice in Wonderland;
  • Henry Everett for both Lewis Carroll and J.M. Barrie;
  • Christoper Leveaux for Peter Pan, Arthur Llewelyn Davies, Reginald Hargreaves and Michael Llewelyn Davies;
  • Pamela Merrick for Alice Liddell Hargreaves.


Reviews for the production were positive for the play. Michael Billington in The Guardian wrote: "It's not a play that shocks or startles by its insights, but the reward lies in watching Dench and Whishaw recreate the agony and the ecstasy of inherited fame.".[1] Charles Spencer in The Telegraph wrote: "It’s a beautiful and searching play that will live long in the memory".[2] Libby Purves in The Times wrote "A meeting of two childhood muses, played by Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, breaks your heart open".[3] However, there was some criticism of the play. Henry Hitchings in The Evening Standard wrote: " this is a piece that uses lush language to compensate for its lack of real dynamism".[4] Despite this, the critics applauded the performance of Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, with one critic saying "Dame Judi and Mr Whishaw are good, she almost Queen Motherly these days, he so sensitive, so irredeemably moist, that he could do with sponging."[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2014 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Play Nominated [6]
Best Actress Judi Dench Nominated


  1. ^ Billington, Michael.[1], March 25, 2013
  2. ^ Spencer, Charles.[2], March 26, 2013
  3. ^ Purves, Libby, .[3], March 26, 2013
  4. ^ Hitchings, Henry. [4], March 26, 2013
  5. ^ [5], March 26, 2013
  6. ^ "Olivier awards 2014 – full nominations". The Guardian. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.