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Peter Terson, pseudonym of Peter Patterson Biography

(1932– ), pseudonym of Peter Patterson, A Night to Make the Angels Weep, The Mighty Reservoy

people observation theatre dramatist

British dramatist, born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; he started writing plays while working as a games and physical education teacher in the West Midlands, and took his pseudonym when he was resident dramatist at the pioneering theatre-in-the-round at Stoke-on-Trent in the 1960s. There, he composed several works notable for their lively observation of rural people, notably A Night to Make the Angels Weep (1964) and The Mighty Reservoy (1964), about the relationship between the hard-drinking custodian of a reservoir and a frustrated young teacher. Later, he became associated with the National Youth Theatre, writing Zigger Zagger (1967), an attempt to understand the so-called ‘football hooligan’; The Apprentices (1968), set in a factory yard; Fuzz (1969), about a variety of dissident students, from anarchists to anti-Vietnam activists; and Good Lads at Heart (1971), about Borstal boys. In general, Terson's work has been marked by its humorous observation of and unsentimental sympathy for people, often young people, whose ebullient energy he contrasts with the attitudes and behaviour more conventionally found in a lacklustre society. In later years his output diminished, though he achieved some success with Strippers (1984), about women pluckily earning a difficult living in a dreary Northern club.

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