Click the book cover above for a PDF comprising four sample pages from the book.
Piers Plowman is a disturbing and humorous quest for how to live a good life and gives a unique insight into medieval life and beliefs, but is astonishingly fresh and apposite today. The characters are instantly recognisable as our present-day politicians and celebrities, friends and neighbours, and the poem confronts live social issues such as corruption, criminal justice and good government. This new verse translation from Middle English preserves the energy, imagery and intent of the original, and retains the alliterative style of the original poem.
William Langland’s poem Piers Plowman was completed 650 years ago. Peter Sutton’s translation of Piers Plowman into modern English alliterative verse is published by McFarland of North Carolina.
"Sutton is to be congratulated for producing a highly readable rendition of the poem that may intrigue new readers and will certainly entertain those of us familiar with the poem." Yearbook of Langland Studies
"I hope your book will receive a warm reception. It has something distinctive to offer and presents the poem in a very attractive and accessible way." Carl Schmidt, Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College Oxford & editor of the Middle English original
"Congratulations on this major achievement. The rest of us Langlandians are in your debt!" Lawrence Warner, Reader in Medieval English at King’s College London & Director of the International Piers Plowman Society
"Sutton’s translation succeeds as a readable, rhythmic representation of the original." Choice
In the presentation by Peter Sutton about Langland’s life given in 2012 at Little Malvern Priory, Langland and his wife look back and find that folk have not changed. Their mordant remarks on money and morality are as apt as ever, and Langland’s own story, much of it previously untold, reveals the dark side of life in Merry England. The readers were Stephanie Connell and Peter Sutton, and medieval music was played by Tim Cranmore and Linda Hardwick.
The performance was part of the 2012 Autumn in Malvern Festival.
READINGS FROM PIERS PLOWMAN
Peter Sutton gave readings in 2016 from his translation of Piers Plowman at Ledbury Poetry Festival, South Downs Poetry Festival, Stamford Verse Poetry Festival and Worcester Festival. The previous year he gave readings at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Michigan, the International Piers Plowman Society Conference in Seattle, Ilkley Literature Festival and – with renowned medieval musicians Alan Crumpler and David Hatcher – the Lion Ballroom, Leominster.
This is the story of a present-day Punch, full of jollity and jokes and pokes in the eye for justice. But now it’s prison that Punch faces, with its teacher and doctor and chaplain and governor. Will they reform him? Surely not when they’re figures of fun. What will Judy get up to while Punch is inside? Will he find that amusing too? And what will happen when he gets out? Will he go on laughing or will something nasty happen? If it does, who’s to blame? Punch or the rest of us? This funny and thought-provoking play bends the rules of theatre while providing the answers.
The Prebumptious Mr Punch was premiered at the Swan Theatre Studio, Worcester, by the Worcester Repertory Company in May 2013, directed by Chris Jaeger.
The playscript of The Prebumptious Mr Punch is now published and available from Worcester Rep. Send cheque for £9.49 (£7.99 + p&p) payable to Worcester Live, to Chris Jaeger,
Peter Sutton's play Elgar and Alice was first performed
on 5th June 2007 as part of the celebrations marking the 150th
anniversary of the composer’s birth. Gerald
Harper played Elgar (below - photo by John Twinning) and the Director was Gene
Elgar and Alice returned to the Swan Theatre Worcester during the 2011 Three Choirs Festival. The Director was Chris Jaeger.
Peter Sutton’s play Elgar and Alice received its third production in 2016, when Global Productions performed the play at venues in the east of England, directed by Michael Philips. The production was sponsored by the Elgar Society.
"A superbly crafted play" Music and Vision Magazine
"Peter Sutton has got right under Elgar’s skin" Elgar Society Journal
“Sutton does a skilful job” Birmingham Post ****
“Very neat. It’s neatly done, altogether” Oxford
“My wife and I were absolutely bowled over” Sir Charles Mackerras
“Congratulations” Steven Isserlis
My Son Will is a one-man show written
and performed by Peter
Sutton for the fourth International
Shakespeare Festival in Yerevan, Armenia.
The date is 11 August 1601, five years after the death of his
grandson Hamnet. John Shakespeare, aged 71, welcomes a company
of players to Stratford: as the story of his life unfolds, it becomes
clear from whom William drew his inspiration.
The fourth International Shakespeare Festival was
held on 12-18 September 2006.
Twelve plays were presented by actors from Slovenia, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Iran,
Poland, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Armenia.