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Latest news

02/10/2015 11:42 AM

Boy in Darkness, at the Blue Elephant Theatre

A Boy wanders into darkness, a land of broken things.
There he meets a goat, a hyena and a lamb with diabolical schemes.

The Boy escapes the oppressive Castle of his birthright on his fourteenth birthday. As he ventures into the unknown, his rebellion leads him on a descent to ancient alchemy and present danger. He must call on his wits to escape - or be trapped forever.

Storytelling and physical theatre intertwine in a bold, new stage interpretation of Mervyn Peake's novella 'Boy in Darkness', performed as a solo show by Gareth Murphy. Capturing a chilling adventure in the teenaged years of Titus Groan, hero of the celebrated Gormenghast trilogy, Boy in Darkness is a gothic fairytale underpinned by Peake's rich and powerful language.

The Blue Elephant continues to bring the work of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers to the stage with this original adaptation, following the world stage premieres of Mervyn Peake's plays The Cave and Noah's Ark.

"But it is extraordinary: a howl, an imperfect and painful philosophical struggle, part of a remarkable artist's testament. Honour to the little theatre."
Libby Purves, The Times on The Cave

13th March to April 4th, 2015 (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
More information from Blue Elephant Theatre
01/27/2015 03:19 PM

Stuff and Nonsense in Portsmouth

Mervyn Peake's nonsense poetry will form part of an evening comedy performance at Portsmouth's Guildhall tomorrow night, 28th January 2015. This has been organised by Max Olesker and it will be a fund raising event for research into Parkinson's. 

More information on the Guildhall website.

01/25/2015 01:30 PM

Dark Arteries

The Rambert Ballet Company has commissioned the first ever brass band dance work to be performed at Sadler's Wells alongside Tredegar Band. 

The world's first brass band dance work is among a series of original commissions which will form the cornerstone of Britain's national dance company productions in 2015.
It has been announced that Rambert Ballet Company will be joined in the week long production at its Sadler's Wells home in London by Tredegar Band, in what has been described as 'a historic crossover of artistic genres'.
It is the first time that a professional dance company and a brass band have collaborated in this way.
Dark Arteries
The work's title, 'Dark Arteries', is a metaphor for Britain's coal mines taken from a poem by Mervyn Peake.
30 years after the Miners' Strike, and one week after the 2015 General Election, 'Dark Arteries' will celebrate the power of the music to sustain communities through times of social and political upheaval.
'Dark Arteries' is to be composed by Gavin Higgins, who wrote 'Velocity', the opening work for this year's 'Last Night of the Proms' at the Royal Albert Hall, and will be choreographed by Rambert's Artistic Director Mark Baldwin.

11/14/2014 05:58 PM

Maeve Gilmore exhibition

A new exhibition of paintings by Maeve Gilmore is being held at the Ancient and Modern Gallery in London from 6th November to 13th December 2014. It's wonderful work and it's well worth a visit as this is a rare chance to see it.

"ANCIENT & MODERN presents paintings by the British artist and writer Maeve Gilmore (1917-1983), which will also mark the occasion of the 50th exhibition at Ancient and Modern. Maeve Gilmore’s paintings range from her assured early portraits to the later, more exploratory and occasionally tentative, narrative scenarios, with the figure still a key element."

The gallery is at 201 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y 8QP
10/23/2014 10:26 AM

Loose Monk, a new book of poetry by Fabian Peake

Painter and poet Fabian Peake presents his first definitive collection of poetry chosen from a writing practice spanning almost twenty-five years.  Drawing inspiration from nature, memory, domesticity, love and art, the 41 poems in Loose Monk include Peake’s verse poems, abstract pieces and concrete or ‘shape’ poetry that employs repetition, spacing and pauses to convey emotion, atmosphere and a sense of time.  The publication is designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio and reflects the singular visual look of each poem.

Throughout his prodigious writing career Peake has consistently committed himself to an experimental approach and has influenced a younger generation of artistic practitioners including Maria Zahle, Jess Flood-Paddock and Patrick Coyle. The writing grows from his background as an artist and follows in the tradition of painter-poets like Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee.  Peake says that ‘there is an unavoidable parallel between how I build a poem and the way I construct a painting.’

For review copies of Loose Monk, interviews, images or 
further information please contact Janette Scott Arts PR on or +44(0)7966 486156.

Copies of the book can be bought here.

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Celebrating the Creativity of People with Parkinson's

The Mervyn Peake Awards are a celebration of the talents of people with Parkinson's. Parkinson’s UK aims to encourage creativity in memory of the late Mervyn Peake. 2011 marks the centenary of his birth and the tenth anniversary of the awards.

This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with Parkinson's, of any ability, to share their creative passion. There are 4 prize categories including art, poetry, photograph and digital art. In addition, this year, all entries will be shortlisted for an online public vote to feature in the Parkinson's UK 2012 calendar. For more information please visit or call 020 7963 9319

Peake Studies

Peake Studies

Anyone interested in knowing more about Mervyn Peake should consider subscribing to Peake Studies, a bi-annual publication edited and published by Peter Winnington, a world authority on the subject. Every issue includes reviews, articles, and very frequently previously unseen drawings and other work by Mervyn Peake. Above are examples of the publication.
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Mervyn Peake: the Man and His Art

Mervyn Peake: The Man and HIs Art - book

Compiled by Sebastian Peake & Alison Eldred. Edited by G. Peter Winnington

Announcing a major new volume on the acclaimed writer and artist is available now.
Read more


Sixty years on, the world of Titus Groan and his castle remains as contemporary now as when first published in 1946.

It is generally accepted that the Gormenghast trilogy as a whole offers one of the most original and sustained flights of imaginative writing of the 20th century and Mervyn Peake is best remembered for this timeless and highly influential work. Now translated into over thirty languages, to be joined shortly by Mandarin.

Less well known however, is his prolific output as a painter and writer of children’s books, nonsense verse, and work as a war artist, poet, and illustrator. Such classic texts as Treasure Island, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Ancient Mariner, Swiss Family Robinson, The Hunting of the Snark, Bleak House and others were illustrated,  resulting in idiosyncratic interpretations immediately recognisable as his own.

Texts were read closely before any drawings were committed to paper, though the description of the characters in the books, the location and atmosphere being brought to life, acted as the sole guide for his eagle eye, with the published drawings often remaining imprinted for ever on the reader’s visual mind.

This completely new and comprehensive website aims to display as many of the above talents as possible while the motivating rationale behind the enlargement of the site was the dedication to presenting work of the whole artist, rather than the parts.  He was after all, as some have suggested, the incarnation of Renaissance man.