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Breaking The Castle

"A powerful work embracing human complexity, Breaking The Castle traverses addiction, recovery and finding a way of being. Inspired by true events in the life of the playwright Breaking The Castle asks three questions:

  • How do we make a place for ourselves in this world?
  • How does a man deal with overcoming trauma?
  • How does Australia deal with trauma?

Dave is dealing with serious mental health and substance abuse issues arising from past trauma and the knife’s edge existence he lives as a jobbing actor. Moving between past, present and future, and told with “a bucket load of laughs” the work is a portrait of a man who lives unaware of how his untreated trauma is affecting his present. Who, through the love of a friend, finds himself in a rehabilitation centre in the mountains of Thailand taking on his demons.

The play explores how our childhood affects us as adults, the nature of reality, the need for a fulfilling vocation, grief, loss, love, family, and is ultimately an uplifting story of redemption.

Through the story of one man, the work illuminates the broader struggles of those who live on the edges and the inequalities in the addiction and recovery cycle in Australia. It highlights the need for men to allow themselves to be vulnerable and seek help when they need it, and it celebrates the ability of the human spirit to prevail through the darkest of journeys.

Read reviews below. It will tour after the virus restrictions lift.

I am available to hold post-show Q&A’s with audiences about the topics raised in the show.

With more than ten years' experience in theatre in education, I am able to offer workshops to school students and young theatre practitioners in theatre-making.

With extensive experience working in Aboriginal communities and was the Head of the Theatre Department at the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (Brisbane) and can deliver acting and theatre workshops to young Aboriginal people.

I am very interested in engaging with at-risk youth, delivering workshops, and men’s and mental health groups.


Breaking the Castle Peter Cook as Dave

RockCityJester reviews Breaking the Castle

By Peter Cook | June 2, 2020

Thanks to Arne Sjostedt and Canberra’s Rock City Jester for this small and perfectly formed review of my play, Breaking the Castle. I was fortunate to be able to develop the production within The Street theatre‘s ‘First Seen’ season. Masterfully directed by Caroline Stacey, proving an opportunity for Cook to show off his “triple A…

Breaking the castle peter cook

Stage Whispers reviews Breaking the Castle

By Peter Cook | June 2, 2020

Stage Whispers reviewed my production of Breaking the Castle – directed by Caroline Stacey and staged as part of the Street Theatre’s ‘First Seen’ program. The production springboards off the script’s poetic descriptions, and overlays a perfectly-timed sound and lighting design, which works in the small area of Street’s Street 2 theatre space to immerse…

Peter Cook as Dave, Breaking the Castle

Canberra Critics Circle review Breaking the Castle

By Peter Cook | June 2, 2020

With thanks to Canberra Critics Circle for coming along to see my play, Breaking the Castle, at the Street Theatre earlier this year. It was well received and, thankfully, our run finished just prior to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Peter Cook’s play about addiction and recovery, ‘Breaking the Castle’, succeeds because of…

Pete Cook actor. Breaking the Castle

City News reviews Breaking the Castle

By Peter Cook | June 2, 2020

With thanks to City News for their supportive and insightful review of my 2020 production of Breaking the Castle. The small space at The Street Theatre created a symbiotic relationship between spectator and actor; creating the potential for one of the most powerful experiences of theatre. In many respects Peter Cook’s play answers the question…

Pete Cook Breaking the Castle The Street Theatre

Breaking the Castle – New Territory review of my Street Theatre production

By Peter Cook | June 2, 2020

Many thanks to Rosalind Moran, for her review of my recent Street Theatre production of ‘Breaking the Castle’. Breaking The Castle is a work of empathy in more than one way. The protagonist is challenged to learn to like himself. The audience is led through a story that humanises people with addiction issues, encouraging compassion for…

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