Group Portrait in a Summer Landscape

The Scotsman 11 August 2023

How long does it take to write a play? If you ask Peter Arnott you might be surprised by the answer. He has been working on Group Portrait in a Summer Landscape since the late 1980s.

More accurately, he has been living with the characters in his head all that time. Only now has he had found the right vehicle for them.

“The play is a red-hot response to the fall of the Berlin Wall,” laughs the playwright, who has more than 50 plays to his name, most of them written while this one was in gestation. “When I began thinking about the characters, it was about what happens to left-wing intellectual types in Britain when communism is coming to an end in Europe. They’ve kept their past, so they’ve become extraordinarily well rounded. I know exactly what’s happened to these people for the last 50 years.” [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).