A man who works back stage at the Hall for Cornwall has found himself in the unusual position of being in the lime light. Flyman Peter Webb has just published his first novel and it's already caused a great deal of excitment amongst avid readers.
"Ladies of the Shire" is a story about the lives of eight individuals who undertake an epic journey from the hay meadows of Leicestershire to the mud and blood of war-torn France in 1914.
The synopsis says: "From these trenches rises a retribution that will claim all they hold precious, demanding a sacrifice none ever thought would be asked of them..."
Peter Webb is 60 years old and has lived a full and varied life. Born in Wolverhampton he started his working life as a drummer. He toured and recorded with several rock bands before changing course... to a zoo keeper in charge of primates.
His next job was as a warden on a wildfowl research project and then he moved on to gamekeeping. Sticking with the animal theme he then spent several years training gun dogs and managing a game farm in Oxfordshire.
Next came a job working with ex-convicts and rehabilitating drug addicts at a conservation project... and that's when the pull of the theatre began to take over.
Peter did stints as a stage manager, touring with some of the UK's seminal theatre companies and ended up moving to Cornwall to take up his current job as Flyman at the Hall for Cornwall.
He's responsible for making sure that all the scenery, backdrops and lights are in the right place at the right time during performances.
"Ladies of the Shire" started life as a screenplay in 2000 but Peter quickly realised that it wasn't likely to be produced: "When it was finished all the feedback was extremely favourable but it became obvious that it wasn't likely to be taken up as a screenplay because it's by an unknown author and would probably cost around 10 to 12 million pounds to produce."
"After the realisation had sunk in I decided, in 2005, to re-write the work as a novel, letting the expensive set pieces take place in the reader's imagination, just as exciting and a whole lot cheaper."
The novel has now been published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd and is available in several big book stores. Waterstones has the novel in it's "recommended read" section and it's received rave reviews: "Superb, I have read it twice and been moved to tears each time", "I really couldn't put it down."
last updated: 18/09/2009 at 11:21