Review: Longing at the Hampstead Theatre has a great set, not sure about the play
Second thoughts: Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in Peter and Alice

First thoughts: Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in #PeterandAlice

P&AphotoExpectations were as high as could be for Peter and Alice, and probably unfairly for what was the first preview. It did take a little while to get into its stride. The device writer John Logan has chosen, of mixing fantasy and reality, probably doesn't help because it is a skill getting the two to easily gel but there are plenty of promising signs.

Those who enjoyed the lightness and frivolity of Privates on Parade may find this, by contrast, a more difficult piece. Yes it has its laughs - some wonderful cutting remarks given by Dame Judi as the adult Alice, for example, but it is a far more brooding, conversational piece that muses and hints at darker issues.

If you know of Peter Llewellyn Davies' and Alice Liddel's history you will have an inkling and as such its power is in the way it slowly builds to an emotional conclusion - Mr W, despite his energetic bow and big smile for Dame Judi at the curtain was really teary-eyed. And so was I, and a little bit breathless.

My one bit of advice is that Michael Grandage get him a dresser. I've seen him with shirts buttoned up wrongly or even buttons missing when he's been in his own clothes and all I'll say is you are asking for trouble putting him in a costume with button up flies.

It was a joy to see him on stage after so very long (three years!) and his is a performance that is only going to develop and grow with the run - something I will relish seeing when I revisit in May. Dame Judi was also a joy to watch beautifully marrying the adult Alice with glimpses of the child Alice's demeanour.

Have much more to say but will save it for tomorrow.