Plays by Peter Gill

Another Door Closed

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Have you grown hard? Is that it? You were never hard then, you know. Just two spoiled daughters. Two little, selfish daughters. Two unemancipated daughters. Without her you have become hard, is that it? She was so soft, you see.

Two elderly sisters get an unexpected visit from a younger man. It appears, many years ago, the sisters' mother had been very kind to him.

Peter Gill's Another Door Closed premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bath, in August 2009.

As Good a Time As Any

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

On a spring morning in London, eight women, young and old, speak for the continuity of everyday life. Over five choruses, these ordinary inhabitants of the city reveal a world that has an intensity and depth of emotion that make it transcendent and universal.

As Good a Time As Any premiered at the Print Room, London, in April 2015.

Cardiff East

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Set in Cardiff's east side, Peter Gill's new play offers a vivid portrait of a community the Tories thought they'd got rid of, and New Labour would prefer to forget. Cardiff East raises essential questions: What is family value? What does it feel like to be an immigrant in your own country? And most importantly, why don't the Welsh reach for the Armalite? Uncompromising and desperately real, with an undercurrent of ironic humour, Cardiff East builds towards an inexorable climax, which combines hope and tragedy in equal parts.

Cardiff East premiered at the National Theatre, London, in February 1997.

© Peter Gill, 1998

Certain Young Men

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

What are two grown men doing living together faking all the stupidities of a fake straight relationship?

A sharp and poignant comedy of contemporary manners, Certain Young Men explores the lives of Stewart and Michael, David and Christopher, Andrew and Tony, and Robert and Terry.

Certain Young Men premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, in January 1999.

In the Blue

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

When Stewart, a hedonistic drifter, and Michael, a timid hospital auxiliary, embark on a love affair, the odds are set against them. For as much as Stewart is assertive and streetwise, Michael is introverted and awkward. In this two-hander Peter Gill explores the simultaneous attraction and incompatibility of two social worlds.

Peter Gill’s In the Blue was first performed in the Cottesloe auditorium of the National Theatre, London, in March 1985.

Kick for Touch

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Kick for Touch tells, in jumbled fragments, the story of a love triangle between two brothers, Joe and Jim, and Joe's wife Eileen. A difficult childhood has left the brothers loving, jealous and incredibly close, so close that – ultimately – they crush Eileen between them.

Kick for Touch premiered at the National Theatre, London, in February 1983.

The Look Across The Eyes

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Cardiff East 'As scene melts into scene, one’s appetite for knowing more and more about these people is constantly whetted, even for the ones one would avoid in real life. Each and every [character] rings true and resonates further. A play which is never less than gripping.' Mail on Sunday

Certain Young Men 'The play is marked by a fast turnover of scenes, lots of brusque, vivid, wryly funny dialogue . articulate, arresting and as freshly performed as anything in town.' The Times

The York Realist: Winner of the London Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play

'As a love story, The York Realist is riveting and heart-rending, performed with fine-tuned naturalism that's quiet and unhurried. Gill is always terrifically perceptive about male tenderness. Overall, the personal and political are subtly united in a study of English masculinity, class and culture. Such outstanding work.' Independent on Sunday

Original Sin 'Hauntingly powerful.' Guardian

Lovely Evening

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Cardiff East 'As scene melts into scene, one’s appetite for knowing more and more about these people is constantly whetted, even for the ones one would avoid in real life. Each and every [character] rings true and resonates further. A play which is never less than gripping.' Mail on Sunday

Certain Young Men 'The play is marked by a fast turnover of scenes, lots of brusque, vivid, wryly funny dialogue . articulate, arresting and as freshly performed as anything in town.' The Times

The York Realist: Winner of the London Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play

'As a love story, The York Realist is riveting and heart-rending, performed with fine-tuned naturalism that's quiet and unhurried. Gill is always terrifically perceptive about male tenderness. Overall, the personal and political are subtly united in a study of English masculinity, class and culture. Such outstanding work.' Independent on Sunday

Original Sin 'Hauntingly powerful.' Guardian

Mean Tears

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

When privileged and affected Julian is cast off into the world by his parents, he is left to negotiate the various power struggles within his love affairs and friendships. The result is a tale of romantic excess, set within the pervading callousness and despair of the late 1980s.

Mean Tears by Peter Gill was first performed in the Cottesloe auditorium of the National Theatre, London, in July 1987.

Original Sin

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Angel, a spell-bindingly beautiful boy, is plucked from the streets to be the plaything of a wealthy newspaper proprietor. This street-boy turned socialite moves with ease between the worlds of privilege and poverty in 1890s Paris and London. Angel's rapid success turns as swiftly into self-destruction as he is caught in a downward spiral of obsession, money, murder, suicide and white slavery.

Original Sin premiered at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre in June 2002.

Over Gardens Out

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Frustrated with the tedium of suburbia, mummy’s boy Dennis is drawn to Borstal boy Jeffry in a camaraderie that veers into volatile and unarticulated eroticism. Deftly depicting the frustrations of 1960s living, Over Gardens Out is a finely tuned sketch of friendship and family life.

Over Gardens Out by Peter Gill was first performed in the Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, London, on 5 August 1968.

A Provincial Life

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Born into a bourgeois family, Misail determines to find a way to lead an honest life free from privilege. To his father's disapproval and bewilderment, he renounces his heritage and becomes a workman before moving to the country to manage the estate of the girl that he marries. Over the course of a long summer, his burning sense of injustice and deep integrity exact a devastating forfeit.

Peter Gill's A Provincial Life, based on a novella by Anton Chekhov, opened at the Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, in March 2012 in a production by National Theatre Wales.

The Sleepers Den

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Set in 1950s Cardiff, The Sleepers Den presents the struggle of the desperate Shannon family who, vulnerable and powerless, live in squalor and must fend for themselves in this story of everyday survival.

Peter Gill’s The Sleepers Den premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in February 1965 and was revived on 18 November 1969.

Small Change

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Small Change is about two mothers and two sons, their attachments and emotional complexity, the endeavour of the two sons to make sense of their complicated inheritance and their adolescent friendship later in life.

Small Change was first staged at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in July 1976.

Versailles

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

In the drawing room of the Rawlinson's late Victorian villa in Kent, life as it was lived before the war is quietly resuming.

The family's son, Leonard Rawlinson, is among the British delegation sent to Versailles to draw up the treaty that will come to define Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world. With the ghost of a fallen loved one still haunting him, Leonard perceives that the choices made in Paris will shape the fate of millions for centuries to come.

Versailles premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in February 2014.

The York Realist

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

When the farm labourer George is cast in an amateur revival of the York Mystery Plays he meets the assistant director John. John wants George to move to London, where he is working in theatre. George’s final decision has repercussions for others as well as himself.

Peter Gill’s The York Realist is not only a finely drawn love story, it also makes us think about the depth of class allegiances, the strength of family, and the origins and ownership of art.

The York Realist was first performed by English Touring Theatre, starting at the Lowry in Salford Quays and moving to Bristol Old Vic in autumn 2001, before visiting the Royal Court Theatre, London, in spring 2002.

Peter Gill was born in 1939 in Cardiff and started his professional career as an actor. A director as well as a writer, he has directed over a hundred productions in the UK, Europe and North America. At the Royal Court Theatre in the sixties, he was responsible for introducing D. H. Lawrence's plays to the theatre. The founding director of Riverside Studios and the Royal National Theatre Studio, Peter Gill lives in London. His plays include The Sleepers Den (Royal Court, London, 1965), Over Gardens Out (Royal Court, London, 1968), Small Change (Royal Court, London, 1976), Kick for Touch (National Theatre, London, 1983), Cardiff East (National Theatre, London, 1997), Certain Young Men (Almeida Theatre, 1999), The York Realist (English Touring Theatre, 2001), Original Sin (Sheffield Crucible, 2002), Another Door Closed (Theatre Royal, Bath, 2009) and A Provincial Life (National Theatre of Wales, Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, 2011).