P is for Peter

P is for Play-write...... or more accurately Author/Composer.

As a young man, P was for poet, having had several efforts published in local and regional newspapers.

In the early 80's, P was for Pantomime, where writing original scripts for the Ulster Operatic introduced P to creative writing for musical theatre.

In 1984, P wrote and composed "Willpower", a full length Musical Comedy, which was presented by the Ulster Operatic Company, in the Harberton Theatre, Balmoral.

In 1986, P formed 'First Act Musical Company', specifically to direct and present his second full show,

"Ham." a Musical comedy set against a war between two fast food companies.  The production won him a Peacock Professional Theatre Award, for Best Music for Theatre. The show was originall presented in the Arts Theatre, Belfast, and has since been presented by 16 schools and Musical Societies throughout Ireland. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

In 1987, P wrote "God Bless Archie Dean", an hilarious Musical Comedy about Heaven and Hell. The original production won a bucket full of comedy awards, and the show has become a standard within the Irish Musical Theatre repertoire. Having been performed by more than 20 societies, it has been recognised with more than 20 comedy awards, including a special award for P, for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in Ireland. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

"Clown" was created in 1990, and took the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera by storm in October of that year, winning no less than 6 coveted awards, and being nominated for Best Overall Show, an award that it Won, the following year. The show continues to be performed on the Irish Musical theatre circuit. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

"The Joy of Living", (1991) the personal favourite of the creator, delves deeply into the world of personal tragedy, and how it can best be combated with positivity and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity. Every performer in the original production of the show was nominated for an acting or comedy award, and the show received a prolonged standing ovation at festival, before lifting several of the top awards. Again, the show still enjoys significant success throughout Ireland, and has earned P his second award for Contribution to Irish Musical Theatre. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

"The Widow or Bust" (1992) was a piece of creative genius, but probably not the authors finest hour. It was a  satirical piece, making fun of the pseudo-seriousness of musical theatre festivals, and while it paid homage to the majesty and longevity of the Franz Lehar Operetta, The Merry Widow, the rights holders of that piece deemed it an infringement of copyright to reference and paraphrase small sections of the show. Having raised the roof with hysteria, and collecting another cart full of awards at Waterford, the creator was ordered, under threat of a lawsuit, to shelve any plans to further the life of the show. 

Possibly being despondent over the fate of "The Widow or Bust", it was not until 1996 that P created "Falling Apart". Claiming adamantly that it was NOT autobiographical, the story concerned a Drama teacher undergoing a mid-life crisis. The show has enjoyed significant success, being performed in Belfast, Dublin and Galway to critical acclaim. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

"The Orphan and the Tramp" was commissioned by Bangor Operatic Society, for their youth group, and started a roll of several creative pieces aimed at young people, from the pen of P.  Over the past decade, youth groups around the country have presented "The Orphan and the Tramp", "Sisters", "The Pied Piper of Hamlyn", "Finding Jim-Bob-Joe" and "A Christmas Cracker". These shows have been specially constructed to offer dozens of individual performance opportunities, an essential quality for Youth School productions.

"How The West Wasn't Won" (2002)  saw a return to satire, poking harmless fun, as it does to outrageous effect, at the 'cowboy' musicals. The show has grown in popularity over recent years, deemed as a real audience pleaser. Definitely a case of P taking the P. !!!  (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

In 2003, pen was first set to paper in an effort to write an emotional account of growing up amid the 'troubles' in Belfast. For P, it has been a labour of love and much passion. A work of fiction, set against the troubled background of his childhood, the first attempt to stage the show in Belfast (1994) was abandoned when the theatre of choice deemed the piece  too controversial for the venue.  "Come The Dawn", the title of the piece, was presented as a 'work-in-progress' production in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway in October, 1996. To say that, even in it's unpolished state, it created a storm, would be an understatement. It received rave reviews, and multi- nominations from the Association of Irish Musical Societies, including Best Overall Show. In February of 2011, the completed version of the show, with a full orchestration by ex-Riverdance Musical Director, Mark Dougherty, was presented by Ballinrobe Musical Society, in County Mayo. For this production, the company who the previous year (2010) had won Best Overall Show for P's production of Boublil and Schonberg's "The Pirate Queen", having been offered kind sponsorship from Moya Doherty and John McColgan, of 'Riverdance' fame, once again received a Best Overall Show, and several other, nominations. (Further information on the "P is for Portfolio" page.)

"Who Killed The Celtic Tiger""(2009/2010) outrageously lampooned the Irish Economy and many of it's leading political and celebrity characters, P first presented the show in Galway, where it was recognised with a Special Comedy Award nomination and several standing ovations, before taking it to the Royal Theatre, Castlebar and the Premier Hall, Thurles. The comic genius of the piece was endorsed by Enda Kenny and several other politicians of stature, and was even talked about, in whispered tones, in the corridors of the Dail.

P brings us back to Pantomime, where it all really began. For the past six years, P has been the original creator of the Renmore Pantomimes in Galway, the premiere Panto group in the west of Ireland. His Pantomime Scripts have also been performed by other groups Co Galway, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.

Peter is currently trying his hand at creating a fictional novel, and is engrossed in writing poetry for children.  Watch this space.


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