Pete Allen

Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
About the Speaker...

Pete is the Director of The RC Sherriff Trust, an arts charity established through terms set down in the will of the playwright and author RC Sherriff. He spent six years as Assistant Head Flyman at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane before training as a theatre director at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and undertaking a master’s degree in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster. Prior to his work with The RC Sherriff Trust he was The Arts Development Officer for Elmbridge Borough Council where he was responsible for The Royston Pike Lecture Series. He was co-founder and artistic director of WhirlygigArts which ran CRYPT (Cranleigh Young People’s Theatre), CMYT (Chequer Mead Youth Theatre) and The Big Picture Young People’s Film Workshop. He also co-founded Storm the Stage Young People’s Theatre for Mole Valley District Council and was the Director of The Together in Waddon Community Project. He works extensively as a professional theatre director and film-maker.

About his Talks...

All Talks are accompanied by visuals and last approx. 50 minutes to 1 hour with time for questions and answers.


Each talk costs £65 (excluding travel).

My Contact Details:


Oh No It Isn’t: A History of Pantomime

Public Speaker in Sussex, Pete Allen talks about Pantomime.

What is it about Pantomime that attracts us to this strange concoction of fairy tales, dance, jokes, songs and cross-dressing? And what is it really like to play the back end of a Pantomime Cow? All this, and the answer to whether something really is behind you will be answered in this festive Talk about what has become one of the great British Christmas traditions.

Mr Garrick’s Fireside; A personal History of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Public Speaker Pete Allen talks about Mr Garrick's Fireside - A Personal History of The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane has provided entertainment for every monarch since the Charles II. This talk takes a personal journey through the history of one of the most famous theatres in the world with tales of being the body double for the man who wrote ‘My Fair Lady’ and almost being shot by the Queen Mother’s security detail…all because of Ken Dodd.



To Journey’s End; The Life of RC Sherriff

Public Speaker Pete Allen talks about To Journey's End - The Life of RC Sherriff

In 2000 the National Theatre named ‘Journey’s End’ one of the 100 greatest British plays of the 20th Century.  This is the story of how a shy insurance salesman and rowing coach from Hampton wrote one of the most moving and true accounts of life in the trenches of WW1 and went on to become one of the highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood helping create some of cinema’s most memorable films.



A Lasso Around the Moon; The making of Frank Capra’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

Public Speaker Pete Allen talks about  A Lasso Around the Moon - The making of Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life

Despite being a box office disaster on its release and the film that signalled the demise of the career of one of the pioneers of cinema, how did a film, which one critic called a ‘turkey dinner,’ go on to be named the 7th best film in Channel 4’s poll of the ‘100 Greatest Films Ever Made’? The talk celebrates ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, a film that’s now as much as part of Christmas as mince pies and mistletoe.




On Broadway: The Life and Adventures of Damon Runyan

Public Speaker talks about On Broadway - The Life and Adventures of Damon Runyon

Although best known for writing the stories that are the source of the classic musical ‘Guys and Dolls’, Damon Runyon’s unique style and use of language, has entered our everyday speech.

If your boss give you the ‘heave-ho’? Your favourite TV stars have charm ‘in spades’? Or your football club, ‘brought in the dream team’? Then they did so talking ‘Runyonese’.

This is the story of the man who turned gambling, gangsters, guys and dolls into the stuff of legend…and is the responsible for Pudsy the Bear!



Not Coming Soon: The Greatest Movies NEVER Made

Public Speaker Pete Allen talks about Not Coming Soon - The Greatest Movies NEVER Made

Ever wondered whether it was the start of a beautiful friendship between Rick and Louis? Whether even James Bond could have saved New York from sharks armed with nuclear warheads? Or what Alfred Hitchcock might have planned for a judge accused of murder? History remembers the great (and often not so great) movies that were made…but what about the ones that never made it past the starting line?

The Road Goes Ever On and On: JRR Tolkien & the Writing of The Lord of the Rings

Public Speaker Pete Allen talks about The Road Goes Ever On and On - JRR Tolkien and the Writing of The Lord of the Rings

Over 60 years after its publication The Lord of the Rings remains one of the most popular books ever written. This talk explores the road to its publication and popularity including Tolkien’s time in the trenches of the Somme and the influence that had on his writing.




Watching the Detectives: A History of British Television Crime Fighters

Pete Allen Public Speaker talks about .Watching the Detectives - A History of British Television Crime Fighters

Murder! It’s not big and it’s not clever. But without it our little grey cells would have missed some of the most popular television programmes to ever grace the small screen. This Talk walks the beat through the quiet of St Mary Mead, the golden spires of Oxford, the cliffs of Broadchurch and the killing fields of Midsummer. On the way it unearths the clues that reveal how our fascination with the long arm of the law owes much to the uncertainty, experimentation and innovation of the early days of television.

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