Mervyn Peake, the Official Site

Photograph of Mervyn Peake

Latest news

10/05/2015 07:13 AM

A new exhibition

Sebastian would have been delighted to know that his father's work was to be hung alongside work by Gunter Grass and Alasdair Gray. And there's just such a show at the Last Tuesday Society now. More information here.
03/17/2015 06:17 PM

Boy in Darkness

Gareth Murphy's powerful performance at the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, is an absolute must for any Mervyn Peake fans. He is a truly inspired actor and has scrutinised the story and worked closely with the director, John Walton, to bring it to today's audience. The whole play is utterly absorbing, and every aspect of the production contributes to make this truly compelling.

There's also a fascinating exhibition of Lewis Peake's work in the bar. It's a great combination.

Book tickets here.

"A physical theatre gem." The Stage

(Photographs by Lidia Crisafulli)
03/12/2015 09:50 AM

Ride a Cock Horse

The British Library have produced a stylish new edition of Mervyn Peake's book of nursery rhymes, Ride a Cock Horse, which was first published in 1940. Who can resist these, for instance? Old King Cole, Rub-a-dub-dub, and Doctor Foster went to Gloucester? It's available direct from the British Library.

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.

Visit the blog for more news…

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.
Read more

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.