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PETER FIELD (d.2023)

We're very sad to have to tell you that our long-standing member, actor, director and artistic director Peter Field died in December.

David Emmet
As far as I can tell Peter first set foot in The Questors on 21 August 1972, when he auditioned for the student group. Alfred's notes show that he rated his audition very highly, and Peter duly became a member of Student Group 27. I was just back from university that year, so I was around The Questors on a more or less daily basis for the first time since I was 8 years old. Inevitably I found myself socialising with the students quite a bit so I got to know Peter, along with Alison Pollard and Judy Steward (now McGlashan, and still a member). I even got to act with him, as the Students Look-In that year (now 1973) was production of Chekhov's The Wedding, and Alfred roped me in to play a small role.

The next year I was in the first year of Group 28, while Peter was in the second year, and performed in The American Dream, The Erpingham Camp and especially as Tom Wrench in Trelawny of the Wells. But even while still in the student group he appeared in Michael Custance's famous production of As You Like It. On graduating, he immediately found himself hugely in demand as an actor in the main company, appearing in more shows than I can possibly list. But the first two appear to have been The Good Woman of Setzuan and King Lear.

When I graduated from the Student Group in 1975, I inevitably found that Peter and I were competing at auditions for the same roles, and Peter usually won. He was better looking than me, and probably the better actor!

Peter quickly moved on to directing, his director's showcase in 1976 being the start of an illustrious series of productions. His appearances as an actor were gradually overtaken by those as a director, and he carried on directing until about 10 years ago, when he retired and moved away. He was also our Artistic Director from 2003 to 2004. It's almost impossible to think of a Peter Filed production that wasn't of the highest artistic standard.

We have lost on of our most prominent and brilliant members, whose Questors career spanned a whole 40 years. He will be remembered as one of the most significant talents to have played a part in our history.

Robert Gordon Clark
I will always be grateful to Peter for casting me as Hollarcut, the village idiot in The Sea, way back in 1985. This was the first role at Questors which really stretched me as an actor, and his support, encouragement and above all artistic guidance was so helpful and informative. He cast me again as the young vicar Lexy Mill in Shaw's Candida a few years later and that was equally enjoyable and further developed my acting skills (especially how to control my hands!). We kept in contact for many years and Lisa and I were so touched when he agreed to direct the first staged reading we gave of The Letter of Last Resort in the summer of 2015 in the studio. The encouraging feedback from that reading from both him and many Questors friends gave us the confidence to stage it at Jermyn Street Theatre in 2016. Sadly Peter didn't feel able to commit to directing it there, but in the hands of John Davey we had a superb replacement. Peter sent me a lovely message of encouragement for the run there. Typical of the man. RIP Peter and much love.

Simon Roberts
I was extremely saddened to learn that Peter had died. I only got to work with him twice: on The Cherry Orchard (2004) and on Playhouse 50. Both times, I was struck by his great good humour and zest for life, qualities evident in his approach to directing. I remember Peter once telling me about visiting a Matisse exhibition; the happiness he felt at seeing the artist's command of form and colour made him literally jump for joy in the gallery. Being directed by Peter was a similarly joyous experience because he possessed those rare qualities of having an absolutely clear vision of the play and encouraging you as an actor to develop your performance within that vision; cajoling, yes, but gently and never imposing his will upon you (the dread admonitions to 'do it like this' and 'say it like this' were ones I never heard in rehearsals led by Peter). Being cast in a 'Peter Field production' always felt like something to strive for; actually getting cast meant that it was time to raise your game.

So long, Peter, and thank you.

Kelvin West
Wow that's very sad, I first met Peter when I bought his flat from him in 1982. Shortly afterwards I joined Questors and we met again. He subsequently directed me in productions and was always good and easy to work with. He was really nice man.

Doug King
Peter directed The Phoenix in the PH in Apr 1984, my first show as a Stage Manager. Peter was a joy to work with and a wonderfully kind and friendly person.

Lyn Langridge-Jones
Was that the David Storey play ?. I was in that, along with Nev Cruttenden, Hugh Simon, Annie Johnson, and the lady who now plays the receptionist in Call the Midwife, Georgie Glen, was on the crew too until she left to take up her place at Bristol Old Vic. I remember Lindsey Anderson coming to see the production and talking to us in the bar afterwards, saying how much he enjoyed Peter's production and that each time he (Lindsey) didn't direct a play by David Storey, he always regretted that he didn't.

Doug King
[Lyn Langridge-Jones] yes that's the play and many of the Company and Georgie was indeed on the crew.

Robert Staines
I shall be eternally grateful to Peter who gave me my first chance at The Questors in "A Little Night Music". His calm, imaginative and skilful approach to direction set an enviably high standard.

Paul Collins
Most admired as well as most loved. Working for him on ' Broken Glass' was an education and exhilarating. He was a lovely, generous spirited man.

Jane Dewey
Deeply missed . I too have the happiest of memories of working with him ?. What a sad winter of loss we are having.

Maggie Turner
Peter was one of the best kind of director - with a clear overall vision for the finished product but also faith in his actors, creatives and crew, giving space to them which allowed everyone to feel they had contributed to that vision. Impeccable

Jenny Webb
I did SO many shows with Peter, from props to set design and everything in between. Always an inspiration and exhilarating to work with. A lovely man.

Rachel Griffiths
Peter gave me my first role at Questors playing a maid in Vincent in Brixton (I actually think I was an acting ASM but he treated me like one of the cast which was lovely of him).

Paul Francis
So sad. Did several shows with Peter. Always exciting and rewarding. He was one of the best.

Ann Johnson
Oh no! He directed me so many times. Always had a blast, always laughing. Was a good friend. Lots of love Peter. Xxxxx

Anne Neville
Peter was one of the best directors ever. You always felt you were on very safe hands. He was the loveliest man. I remember his mantra, " Put it away!" Did so many parts for him. Much missed!

Stuart Watson
Peter was an enormously knowledgeable and superbly skilled director. If there was a list of amateur theatre's all-time greats, he would be on it. He was very generous to me as a young director. When I was directing my first Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, back in 2012, I reached out to him for help on how I should approach the verse. My fondest memory of him is being invited to his home where we talked Shakespeare, theatre and creativity, laughed, drank wine, and smoked until late. I admired him, and he made a real difference to my development as a theatre-maker. I'll miss him.

Dan Martin
Incredibly sad news. One of the very best. Such fun to work with, and he had such a keen eye for detail and story.

Francis Lloyd
"Put it away" indeed. The best direction ever! I only did one play with Peter - Quatermaine's Terms - but it was one of the happiest shows I was ever involved with. Peter was a lovely man and such fun. And a terrific director. He will be much missed

Philip Sheahan
Ah, such sad news. I shared the stage with Peter in my first ‘proper’ show T TQ. It was ‘Forget me not Lane’ by Peter Nichols. We played 14-year-old boys. Peter was a lot of fun and taught me a about acting and theatre craft. We did numerous bits of late-night improvised theatre in the late 70s and later. Our shared sense of humour and his mischievous giggle will remain a warm and treasured memory.
RIP Peter. X

Sue Crowson
I had the pleasure of working on the crew with or for Peter on 10 productions from 1976, including Little Eyolf which we also took to Bolton Little Theatre.  This was a very tiring but enjoyable weekend, travelling to Bolton and back in the van being driven by Peter.  He was such a lovely talented individual and encouraging to all.

Ffrangcon Whelan
So very sad to hear about Peter Field - he was major figure at Questors, a very good actor and an outstanding director. It was exciting and a joy to act with him and to be in his productions and I will really miss him being around. Though in my mind he will always be there.

John Lucey
I was deeply saddened to hear of Peter's passing. I was lucky to be cast by him in Quartermaines Terms in 1998 with a wonderful cast and crew. Peter's infectious enthusiasm and skill created an amazing show and I have such happy memories. His observations and suggestions simply lifted everything in my character and I'm indebted to him for that learning curve. An outstanding director and a lovely, lovely man. x




1973 As You Like It
1974 An American Dream
1974 The Erpingham Camp

1974 Forget-Me-Not Lane
1974 The Good Woman of Setzuan
1974 Trelawny of the Wells
1975 Coriolanus
1975 King Lear
1975 The Waiting Room
1976 Lear
1976 Macbeth
1976 Sanctuary
1977 Into Another Dimension
1977 MoonshiPt
1977 Myths
1977 Paper Chase
1977 Prometheus Bound
1977 Seagull Rising
1978 Birdbath
1978 The Caretaker
1978 Hay Fever
1978 Oh, What a Lovely War!
1979 Crime and Punishment
1979 The Ghost Sonata
1980 The House Warming
1980 Plodding On
1980 Under Milk Wood
1981 The Oresteia
1982 Anthem for Doomed Youth
1983 The Accrington Pals

1976 The Trojan Women
1982 The Maids
1982 Measure for Measure (extract)
1983 And a Nightingale Sang...
1983 Little Eyolf
1984 Abode of Peace
1984 Phoenix
1985 The Sea
1987 Candida
1989 Clay
1990 The Penalty of Love
1990 Salonika
1991 The Rivals
1992 The Surgeon of Honour
1993 All My sons
1993 A Little Night Music
1996 Ghosts
1997 Three Sisters
1998 Quartermaine's Terms
1999 The Glass Menagerie
2000 King Lear
2002 Hedda Gabler
2002 Molly Sweeney
2003 Run for Your Wife
2003 A Russian in the Woods
2004 The Cherry Orchard
2004 The Merchant of Venice
2006 Vincent in Brixton
2009 Broken Glass
2012 The School of Night