1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · People

Mr. Peter Arnott

Resident Playwright – Currently in Residence


0131 651 4747




St John's Land, Holyrood Road, University of Edinburgh EH8 8AQ


Peter was born in Glasgow and has been working professionally as a playwright since 1985 when The Boxer Benny Lynch and White Rose opened in the same week in Glasgow Arts Centre and the Traverse, Edinburgh respectively. Plays since then have been Muir, Losing Alec, The Wire Garden, and Cyprus among many, many others, including translations and adaptations, screenplays, cabaret and song lyrics.

Recent adaptations have included Neill Gunn’s The Silver Darlings and, forthcoming, Robin Jenkyn’s The Cone Gatherers, both for His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen. His work has appeared throughout Scotland, as well as further afield. His play The Breathing House won the TMA Best Play Award in 2003. He was a recipient of a prestigious Creative Scotland Award in 2007. He was Writer in Residence for the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland 2008-11, where he delivered a series of `lectures with actors’ on the social context and impact of Darwin’s Origin of Species.

He is also currently under commission to Vox Motus and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh for a play about Victorian spiritualism.

Current Work

Peter is the first Resident Playwright at the ESRC Genomics Forum. Appointed in partnership with the Edinburgh Traverse Theatre he will be based at the Forum between April 2011 and April 2012.

This activity is part of a series of creative dialogues established by the Forum with writers, artists and designers. It is hoped that by working alongside Forum members, attending events and meeting with experts and fellows across the Genomics Network will inspire the creation of a genomics related play. This play will be commissioned at the end of the residency period.

Peter will be exploring and researching the world of genomics, uncovering stories and interesting facts and will record his activities via blogs. Read Peter's blogs on Genotype.

As part of developing these creative ideas Peter will also be staging a number of public engagement events. Full details of these activities are available on Forum events.