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Peter Sutton’s plays The Prebumptious Mr Punch and Elgar and Alice are both now published. Details below.

Contact Peter Sutton for performance enquiries:

Book cover: Piers Plowman: A modern verse translation

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.


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.

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.

Listen below to the opening of Peter Sutton’s reading from the translation at the Swan Theatre Worcester: a Worcester Repertory Company production.

"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."


Click below for a PDF featuring examples of Peter's poems.

Click for PDF: poems by Peter Sutton


William Langland, poet and dreamer

William Langland, poet and dreamer

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.

Click for a PDF of sample Pages from William Langland by Peter Sutton

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.

Cover of playscript of The Prebumptious Mr Punch by Peter Sutton, published by Worcester Repertory Company


Click here for sample pages from Mr Punch by Peter Sutton

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, Swan Theatre, The Moors, Worcester WR1 3ED.

Click here to buy a copy of the playscript of Elgar and Alice

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 David Kirk.

Gerald Harper as Sir Edward Elgar

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.

Click here for

Click here for further details of productions, full reviews, sample pages and performance rights.

Click here to buy a copy of the playscript of Elgar and Alice. 

"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 Times *****

“My wife and I were absolutely bowled over”
Sir Charles Mackerras

Steven Isserlis

Elgar and Alice programme cover 2016



My Son Will by Peter Sutton

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.

Click here for sample pages from My Son Will by Peter Sutton


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.

Shakespeare Festival

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