A love in verse


Every day for 25 years Peter wrote Alison a poem and put it under her pillow. Alison died in 2016. Peter spent six months sorting through more than 8500 poems. He continues to write for her

Alison King and Peter Gordon met in 1971 as actors in a play, but they didn’t have much to do with each other. In 1973 they were cast again together in Plat De Jour at The Edinburgh Traverse, a play in which a husband loves his wife so much that he eats her. A little over a year later they became husband and wife for real, but luckily life did not imitate art.

Peter and Alison had both been married before and Alison had two children, Karen and Dominic. They had Cassie and Anna in the late seventies and spent most of their marriage living in Brentford. Peter started writing poems for Alison in the eighties and it became a daily habit they both cherished. He was often away for long periods of time, touring as an actor both nationally and internationally. Alison also worked away on occasion, filming or directing. Their separation was felt keenly and being away from his love and his family is the inspiration for many of these poems, as you will read

In the early 90s Alison  began the happiest and most fulfilling, phase of her career: directing and teaching acting at many drama schools for which she became renowned.

In 2006 they were sad to have to leave Brentford for Gillingham in Kent. They continued to act on and off and appeared together in a play called We Will Be Gone in which they played Chelsea Pensioners, reunited sixty years after being abruptly separated during the war. Alison continued her teaching work and Peter continued with acting.

Alison was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2014; but her overwhelming spirit and tenacity allowed her to live a full life with the disease for a year and a half. Alison was in constant contact with all of her children which brought her great comfort. In 2015 between cycles of chemotherapy Alison and Peter performed the play Love Letters, at Theatre 503, directed by their daughter Anna. It was her last performance.

During the last few weeks of her life, though growing frail, she never lost her joie de vivre. She died peacefully on 12th May, surrounded by her family; just as her personality, warmth, vivacity and love of life surrounds her loved ones still.

Peter lives with his daughter Cassie and her son Tom in Sunbury. He continues to write poems and plays and more.

This project is collated by their daughters Cassie Davis and Anna Jordan, with huge help from family friend Lia Burge. They are all writers of sorts: Lia is a poet and copy writer, Cassie is a content creator for CLIC Sargent cancer charity and Anna writes plays, TV and some (not so good) poems.

Also a huge thank you to Ross Pollock.
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