poet playwright performer
Welcome to my website. I hope you’ll find all sorts of things to amuse you with links to some of my poems (“Poem of the Week”) and projects as well as my history and publications (“About”)and, if you are a booker, information under the heading “Press” that you can use directly for publicity. Any events that I’m taking part in or rehearsals or shows with dates and so on in the “Events” section but if there’s anything you would like to know then just go to “Contact”. Check out videos of projects on YouTube, Vimeo . You can find various bits and pieces on Facebook - Peter John Cooper Playwright - and Twitter .
From the West Cliff
ESCAPING THE STORM
Pennsylvania Castle, Easton, Portland
STRONG women are currently being celebrated in our society and nobody fits that description more than Dr Marie Stopes, a remarkable academic, writer and controversial campaigner for the promotion of birth control.
This production, written by Peter John Cooper and commissioned and performed by AsOne Theatre, examines the life and times of Dr Stopes, focussing on her association with Portland and the Old Lighthouse which was her haven for peace and tranquillity while her role as a fossil fuel scientist and her support of the Portland Museum are also touched upon.
The cast of four, led by the winning Jane McKell as Marie Stopes, take on a variety of roles in an informative and stimulating drama that tells of one woman’s fight to give freedom of choice to couples and to women in particular by initiating controlled family planning.
Telling a story about such a passionate and eccentric woman is no easy task and Cooper has handled it with great skill and tact, in particular by addressing Stopes’ obsession with eugenics and the darker side of her beliefs. The author does this by bringing into the drama a young quarryman and his awkward love life which talks about some of the worrying aspects of genetic inheritance that Stopes strongly supported.
Eitjo De Vries makes a marvellous job of portraying the rustic Portland character as well as taking on the role of being the author himself and even being Stopes’s pet dog, an amusing and lovable pooch.
Escaping the Storm (Marie Stopes on Portland) was commissioned by AsOne Theatre Company. This photograph by Howard Shep shows exactly the layered effect I was striving for. Photo taken at The Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth on the 18th October 2018. With Jane McKell, Eltjo Devries, Sorcha Martin and Phoebe Sharman. Set by Annette Sumption. Projection by Kevin Butcher.
It is almost exactly twelve months since I was commissioned to write (and subsequently direct) a play about the sex campaigner Marie Stopes for AsOne Theatre Company. Well, the script is written, the actors are cast, the Designer is designing and countless others are doing the sort of things they do. Tomorrow we start four days of development with a taster day at Portland Museum on Sunday. This is about as exciting as it gets for a writer. Apprehension mixed with joy. An emotional high such as anyone else might get from… well… you know… a big chocolate cake. I am (to mix in a few more images) like a bobsleigher pausing before pushing off towards what promises to be the thrill ride of a lifetime. Wish us luck.
Recent work available to purchase online
Peter John Cooper
Peter John Cooper is a UK Theatre professional and poet with over 40 years experience in directing and writing. He has over thirty plays recorded on the Doollee Database of UK produced playwrights.
A number of his works are published online and in paperback and he can be seen performing in clubs and small theatres in London and his home town of Bournemouth. He is best known for his experimental work both as a playwright and poet.
He has worked extensively with Adults with Learning Disabilities and has been part of ACDC European initiative on Arts for Excluded Groups.