Ladies n Genminminminmin (er, min...) please welcome Blue Peter, Scouting & Online Panto Legend Peter Duncan to The Good Listening To Show!
Peter Duncan is a quintessential family entertainer, a veritable prolific-pants of creativity and versatility. He is an Actor, Presenter, Adventurer, former Chief Scout, Pantomime King & Blue Peter Alumni.
My first ever Theatre job was understudying Peter in David Wood’s Whirligig Theatre show, “Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish” way back when, circa 1988!
A wonderfully rich and textured conversation indeed. One of the things I was intrigued to find out more about was a recent blog post in which Peter said: "Just after dying on a cross and ascending to heaven on a wet pensioner's matinee (whilst appearing in "The Mystery Plays") I sat in my car and was overwhelmed. I felt as if I had walked through an ethereal portal where nothing was inexplicable. ‘I was a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars, I had a right to be here’ I always long to feel again that deep flash of knowing calm.
More about Peter:
Peter Duncan is a dreamer. And a thinker. And a daredevil. His life has never, ever been dull. His parents were in show business!They took him on their travels, all year long, from summer seasons to winter pantomimes.
Peter Duncan himself made his first public appearance as a teenager on stage at the Mermaid in London, playing Jim Hawkins in "Treasure Island". Then, at 16, he joined the Olivier Company at The National. It sounds as though he has either been working or travelling every day, ever since.
On TV, in film on one side of the camera or the other, or on stage, in a play or in Panto. Or on the road with family or with a documentary camera in Russia, USA, India or China.
If Blue Peter made Peter Duncan famous, he has found more anonymous popular fame with new generations of children as a Pantomime Dame. The characters Peter Duncan has created himself include Dame Trott, Billie Eyelash and most recently, Dame Dolly Donut! The anarchic humour of the Dame disguises the more serious side of Peter Duncan, who turns to Dahl for command of language, to Jung for a different view of dreams, to Gibran for poetic inspiration, to Goethe for a guide to bolder living, to Shakespeare for a gloomy summary of human existence, to Desiderata for a graceful exit.
This is a man of mystery, yet who is distracted by the physicality of football or the presence of women. Who had a spiritual experience after playing Jesus in a matinee, on a wet afternoon in a car park in the provinces. Who, in his spare time, is a dystopian conceptual artist, with a dark view of the further future - yet a bright view of today! Someone who writes a blog - on an annual basis!
A former wannabe hippie - who visits his barber even less frequently and had at the time of this interview, just renewed the ceiling lining of his summerhouse, on a whim, for the first time in 25 years.
There is much more to Peter Duncan than meets the eye! For a small fee, you can see a trio of his latest pantomimes online, created during and after lockdown. They and this interview provide some fascinating inner glimpses of his personal complexity. Peter Duncan certainly deserves centre stage…