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

Lauren Kellegher as Anna, Phyllis Christopher

Jumping Puddles

Catrina McHugh (Open Clasp in collaboration with Frantic Assembly at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

The Battling Ettricks: Christina Dawson and Robbie Lee Hurst,

The Sisters / The Battling Ettricks

Peter Mortimer / Mary Picken (Cloud 9 at Low Lights Tavern, North Shields / Surf Cafe, Tynemouth / Comrades Club, Whitley Bay).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Emma Barton and Gavin Spokes, Johan Perrson

One Man, Two Guvnors

Richard Bean, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding (National Theatre at Sunderland Empire).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Chris Bostock, the Snow Bear, the Tomten and Ken Pattison,

The Snow Bear

Chris Bostock with music by Ken Pattison (Hearthside Tales at St Mary's Heritage Centre, Gateshead).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Tessa Parr and Gary Kitching, Pamela Raith

Get Santa!

Anthony Neilson (Northern Stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Ray Spencer (Granny Hood),

Little Red Riding Hood

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

Summer Strallen and Jos Vantyler,

Flying into Daylight

Ron Hutchinson, based on an original story by Victoria Fischer (Live Theatre at Live Theatre, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Sam Ferriday, Stephen Webb, Matt Corner and Lewis Griffiths, Helen Maybanks

Jersey Boys

Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe (Dodger Theatricals, David Ian/Michael Watt, Ambassador Theatre Group at Sunderland Empire).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan

Ruth Johnson (top) and Alice Blundell, Topher McGrillis

The Christmas Grump

Susan Mulholland (Northern Stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle).
Reviewer: Peter Lathan