Peter Lathan

North east editor


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 (New York) to run a web site on British Theatre and set up the British Theatre Guide in 2001.

Latest reviews

Carols & Cocktails,

Carols & Cocktails

Ben Dickenson (Alphabetti at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Leanne Kyte (Jasmine) and Matthew Dale (Aladdin), DIRK VAN DER WERFF / EGGSHELL BLUE


Andrew Ryan (Martin Dodd for UK Productions at Sunderland Empire).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Leanne Kyte (Jasmine) and Matthew Dale (Aladdin), Dirk Van Der Werff / Eggshell Blue


Andrew Ryan (Martin Dodd for UK Productions at Sunderland Empire).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

A Christmas Carol,

A Christmas Carol

Adapted by Michael Wicherek from the novel by Charles Dickens (Box Clever at Arts Centre Washington).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Ray Spencer (Duchess), Natasha Haws (Alice) and Afnan Iftikhar (Knave of Hearts), Craig Leng

Alice in Wonderland

Ray Spencer and Graeme Thompson (The Customs House at Customs House, South Shields).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Carl Kennedy (Nick Chopper) and Tessa Parr (Dorothy), Topher McGrillis

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Caroline Bird, based on the novel by L Frank Baum (Northern Stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Paula James (Mother) Mei Mac (Snow Child), Mark Pearce (Father),

Snow Child

Emma Reeves, based on Arthur Ransome's adaptation of The Little Daughter of the Snow, music by Oliver Birch (tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal at Arts Centre Washington).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

The finale,


Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley (Gala Theatre at Gala Theatre, Durham).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

In the full strip: (L) Miles Horner with Fiona Tobin in front of him) and (R) Jonathan Cooke with Caroline Kennedy in front of him, Mark Savage

MIRACLE! An Opera of Two Halves

David Almond (libretto) and Marcos Fernandez (music) (Music in the Minster at Sunderland Minster).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Karen Traynor, Tim Dalling, Tom Isted, Hannah Goudie, Topher McGrillis

Up and Out Christmas Sprout

Laura Lindow, music by Tim Dalling (Northern Stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle.).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan