Follow Us on Twitter

Olivier-nominated actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan stars in The Dame

Peter Duncan stars in The Dame. Photo by Gordon Render.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Olivier-nominated actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan stars in The Dame. Written by Katie Duncan and directed by award-winning Ian Talbot, it runs at Park Theatre from Wednesday, January 2 to Saturday, January 26, 2019 following an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

My armour, my war paint, the battle out there: it’s all I’ve ever known.

A lost world of seaside entertainment, piers and promenades are brought to life when seasoned Pantomime Dame Ronald Roy Humphrey returns to his Northern roots for the Christmas season. As the curtain falls on the last show of the day, Roy is in a wistful, melancholic mood, but as the years fall away, ghosts and memories from the past confront him with what he has spent his whole life trying to forget.

The Dame takes audiences on a journey inside an entertainer’s mind to expose the fragile creature beneath the make-up, bluster and bravado. However many masks we wear; the truth will always be revealed.

Actor, presenter, documentary maker, former Chief Scout and one time Blue Peter daredevil, Peter Duncan has enjoyed a TV, film and theatre career that spans four decades.

A self confessed adventurer he is never happier than when in the thick of it such as competing live in Tumble on prime time TV or walking the tightrope in his one man show. He is perhaps best known for his daredevil approach to life when he first joined the Blue Peter team in 1980. He wore his action man label easily, running in the first London Marathon in just over three hours (his last one in 2012 was much slower). He fought a sumo wrestler in Japan, cleaned the clock face of Big Ben and wore his green and white check suit whenever he could.

In 1985 he went on to make Duncan Dares, a series that played on his adventurous image with stunts such driving across the Irish Sea in a VW Beetle and as James Bond’s stuntman.

He produced a six-part series called Travel Bug for CBBC in which he, his partner Annie and their four children backpacked their way around the world. In the two follow up series, their adventure travels were seen 
in Chinese Breakaway and Arthur’s Trip to India. Other TV credits include a 26-part slapstick comedy series Demolition Dad for Five and Channel 4’s The Games. He narrowly lost Celebrity Total Wipeout by one second.

Duncan began his career on stage joining Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre and spent the 70’s working exclusively as an actor. He became a well known face on TV where his work included Play for Today, Sons and Lovers, Renoir My Father, Warship, Fathers and Families, Sam, Fallen Hero, Survivors, King Cinder, Oranges and Lemons, The Flockton Flyer and Space 1999.

His feature film credits include Stardust, Quilp, The Lifetaker and a famous cameo in Flash Gordon when was he killed by a tree monster.

After his Blue Peter days he began to appear in musical theatre roles such as Barnum, Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl and as Charlie Chaplin in The Little Tramp. In 1995, he was nominated for an Olivier Award as Best Actor in a musical playing Denry Machin in The Card. His other theatre work includes Alan Ayckbourn‘s Things We Do for Love, Stan Laurel in Laurel and Hardy and Macbeth (as Macduff) and Fantastic Mr Fox in a season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

In 2013, he took on the role of Charlie Peace, the Victorian criminal for Nottingham Playhouse and more recently toured in Birdsong playing Jack Firebrace and Wilbur in Hairspray. Last year he played Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet.

Duncan also produces and directs many pantomimes and has worked extensively for children’s theatre. He often appears in panto playing the hero, the funnyman or the baddie but not as yet the dame.

He is a patron of Action for Children’s Arts, Youth Music Theatre and Neighbourhood Midwives. He also possesses a Gold Blue Peter badge awarded for his volunteer work as leader of the UK’s half a million Scouts.

The Dame is suitable for ages 12+.

Image: Peter Duncan stars in The Dame. Photo by Gordon Render.

Tickets: Previews £14.50. Standard £18. Concessions £16.50. Child (under 16) £13. To book, call the box office on 020 7870 6876 or visit www.parktheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.15pm.

Also at Park Theatre: Joanna Murray-Smith’s compelling drama Honour, starring Henry Goodman, Imogen Stubbs and Katie Brayben (October 25 to November 24) and the world premiere of A Pupil (October 31 to November 24, 2018).