Peter Lathan

North east editor

E-mail: peter@britishtheatreguide.info

Peter Lathan's first experience of theatre was at the age of twelve when he played Marion in Sean O'Casey's Cock-a-Doodle Dandy, a school production in an all-boys school.

Since then he has been deeply involved in all aspects of theatre. He directed his first production (a Chekhov one-acter, The Anniversary) while at university and, as a playwright, his first play to be performed professionally (The Passion, a version of the medieval Mystery Plays) was produced in 1973.

He has directed more than 70 productions with school and youth groups and professional companies. For the last ten years most of his work has been with KG Productions, a company he founded in 1999. Work with KG has included Theatre in Education, corporate productions, new writing (the company commissioned, produced and toured novelist Chaz Brenchley's first play A Cold Coming) and touring pantos. In 2009 he was invited by the Customs House, South Shields, to direct an open-air, site-specific version of The Tempest, the first in an annual summer Shakespeare in the Park event using an ensemble of some of the region's leading professional actors and in 2010 he directed Romeo and Juliet.

Most recently he has written and directed the annual Customs House community play which features a large amateur cast and a professional creative/production team. He also devises and directs small-scale touring productions of themed Shakespeare compilations.

He has written 28 plays, including a full-length musical, a number of pantos, touring TIE shows and corporate work for a wide variety of clients. He was commissioned to write and direct The South Tyneside Story for the Millennium Dome. His plays have been produced throughout the UK, and in the US, Germany and India.

Other writing includes It's Behind You: The Story of Panto (New Holland Publishers 2003). Between 1968 and 1980 he was a regular contributor to The StageCabaret and Variety Revue and Musicians Only and had a two-year spell as theatre correspondent for BBC Radio Newcastle.

He has taught drama in schools and with youth theatres, and has also done drama work with recovering addicts, adults with severe learning disabilities and ran a two year drama course for adults under the auspices of a local Adult and Community Learning department.

He has served on arts-related council committees, did PR, front of house management and lighting design for the St David's Arts Festival as well as appearances there as an actor and director, has done a range of Drama workshops in primary and secondary schools and consultancy work, specifying equipment and design for school theatres and drama studios.

From 1997 to 2001 he was employed by about.com (New York) to run a web site on British Theatre and set up the British Theatre Guide in 2001.

Latest reviews

Make Do and Mend,

Make Do and Mend

Rachel Adamson (The Women's Voices Project at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Victoria Elliott and Kevin Wathen (lower level); Will Graham and Niek Versteeg (upper), Topher McGillis

The Season Ticket

Lee Mattinson, adapted from the novel by Jonathan Tulloch (Northern Stage and Pilot Theatre at Northern Stage, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Patricia L Whale (Margaret Graham), Steve Halliday (Ken Graham) and Angela Hannon (Hilda Joyce), Tim Richardson

The Dolly Mixtures

Book and lyrics by Tom Kelly, music by John Miles (The Customs House at The Customs House, South Shields).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Neil Armstrong and Zoe Lambert, David Turnbull

The End of the Pier

Neil Armstrong (Cloud Nine at The Exchange, North Shields).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Kylie Walsh in Mobile, Richard Davenport for The Other Richard

Mobile

Devised by the company (The Paper Birds in association with Live Theatre and The Marlowe Theatre at The Live Garden, Live Theatre, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Michael Grady-Hall (John) and Pearl Chandra (Julie), Richard Lakos for The Other Richard

Julie

Zinnie Harris, based on Miss Julie by August Strindberg (Northern Stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Alexis Tuttle and Emily Holyoake, Graeme Braidwood

Made Up

Devised and performed by Alexis Tuttle and Emily Holyoake; directed and written by James Yarker (Stan’s Café and Birmingham Repertory Theatre at Arts Centre Washington).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Rehearsal Photo: Neil Grainger, Jamie Quinn and James Baxter, Chris Auld

Petrification

Zoe Cooper (TellTale Theatre Company in association with LittleMighty at Live Theatre, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan