Peter Cox Archive

Scope and Content

This collection contains research material, scripts and other material relating to the work and career of playwright Peter Cox from early productions such as Jimmy Riddle to his time writing for Brookside. This includes Peter Cox's own collated research material relating to the 1981 hunger strikes in Northern Ireland and the 1980s Miners' strikes in England.

Administrative / Biographical History

After studying Drama at St Mary’s College, London, between 1975-1977, Peter Cox began his writing career at the Royal Court Theatre in London, where he was awarded the George Devine Award for Most Promising New Playwright for Up to the Sun and Down to the Centre in 1984. Cox sees his job as “giving a voice to the voiceless”, evident in the themes tackled in his early works. With Up to the Sun and Down to the Centre (1984), written in collaboration with Danny Boyle, and The Garden of England (1984-1985), Cox approached politically charged historical events such as the 1984 Miners strike and the 1981 hunger strikes in the H-Blocks in Northern Ireland.

Cox has also had a successful career writing for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and Radio Wales. Between 1986 and 2003 he wrote 227 and contributed to 2400 episodes of the Channel 4 series Brookside.

Cox has worked extensively within the community arts sector, particularly community theatre, bringing people from all walks of life together to dramatize local history. Off of the back of enthusiasm developed during Cox’s community production The Lost Harp in 1994, Cox founded the community arts and heritage organisation CARAD (Community Arts Rhayader And District), based in Rhayader. In the 2010 New Year’s honours list he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his service to community arts.

Cox’s plays have been performed throughout Britain in venues ranging from the Royal National Theatre and Belfast Opera House to miners’ welfare halls. Cox continues to work in community theatre, as well as running script writing workshops and lecturing on screenwriting.


This collection is arranged as follows:

  • THM/442/1 - Material relating to the production Jimmy Riddle
  • THM/442/2 - Material relating to the production Up to the Sun and Down to the Centre
  • THM/442/3 - Material relating to the production The Garden of England 1, 2 & 3
  • THM/442/4 - Material relating to the production The Hedgey Road Plays
  • THM/442/5 - Material relating to the production Drych Trewythen
  • THM/442/6 - Material relating to the production The Valley of Natgwyllt
  • THM/442/7 - Material relating to the production of The Lost Harp
  • THM/442/8 - Material relating to the production of Snatch
  • THM/442/9 - Personal documents
  • THM/442/10 - Material relating to 7:84 England Theatre Company
  • THM/442/11 - Miscellaneous files
  • THM/442/12 - Sound recordings
  • THM/442/13 - Posters
  • THM/442/14 - Objects

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See: THM/273 English Stage Company/Royal Court Theatre archive.

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance.

Please ask for details.