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When Wendy Grew Up
When Wendy Grew Up: An Afterthought is an epilogue to the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. It was written by J. M. Barrie in response to questions he received about what happened to Wendy when she grew up.
The epilogue was first performed on February 22, 1908, the closing night of the play's 1907–1908 run. Barrie chose that performance because Charles Frohman, the play's original producer, was going to be there. Frohman had missed the audience's ovation following the original performance, and Barrie hoped this would make up for that. After the final curtain that night, the actress who played one of the mermaids came out on stage to introduce the epilogue, explaining the setting while the hands set the stage.
The scene takes place in the Darling family nursery, only now the family is not the Darlings, for Wendy is now married, a grown woman. She is putting her daughter Jane to bed, when Peter returns, unaware of how much time has passed since his last visit. He tries to persuade Wendy to come with him, but she explains that she cannot, because he has gotten old and forgotten how to fly. Peter sees Jane (whom he at first thinks is Michael), realizes the truth of what Wendy has told him, and begins to cry. Jane wakes up, and echoing her mother's words, asks "Boy, why are you crying?" Peter recovers his composure, and invites Jane to come with him. With Wendy's blessing, she does.
This scene is included at the end of the novel Peter and Wendy, which Barrie published a few years later, in 1911. While it is commonly left out of stage productions and the popular Disney adaptation, it is sometimes included in performances, giving a more bittersweet ending to the story. It was filmed for P. J. Hogan's 2003 adaptation, but the special effects were not finished and it was not included in the theatrical release; it is included as an "alternate ending" (with rough effects) on the DVD release.
- Read: When Wendy Grew Up