Tinkerbell is Disney’s most recognized and important money making icon! You have seen her flying over the castle in the opening of almost every Disney movie since Peter Pan’s release in 1953. Tinker Bell is usually a young, attractive, blonde, blue-eyed, white female, with an exaggerated hourglass figure. She wears a skimpy bright green dress and always has small amounts of pixie dust following her when she moves. This dust can help humans fly if they think happy thoughts. In this show, Tinker Bell is not a small, blonde, petite, girl…because I am playing her. HOWEVER, the better questions is….Who is Tinker Bell? Well, forget everything you think you know about Tinker Bell, this is not your mama’s fairy.
When exploring the novel “Peter and Wendy” by JM Barrie, we discover that Tinker Bell is literally described in the text. The word tinker is an archaic word for a metalsmith who mends kettles, pots, pans, etc. This is her occupation, which suggests that she is common and a lower-class fairy. In fact, Peter tells Wendy that she a “…quite a common fairy” in the beginning of the play. Bell was presumably chosen as her surname because her voice sounds like a tinkling bell. She also uses profanity…like a lot. This gives us a different impression of this magical creature than the one we have seen for decades.
In Jeremy Bloom’s adaption of Peter/Wendy, he combines Barrie’s novel “Peter and Wendy” with segments from Barrie’s “The Little White bird.” This text is not as well known, but provides insight into the characters in Neverland. JM Barrie writes “Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.” How different would we behave if we only had room for one feeling at a time?
While this play is definitely not Disney, it will still leave you reminiscing about the characters you love while inspiring memories of childhood, frivolity, and magic. Do you believe in fairies?