Peter Feeney


Peter Feeney has been a writer, actor and teacher of acting for 30 years and is now turning his attention to writing and directing for TV and Film. He has one TV series in production, and several in development.His stories focus on individuals and families struggling with loss, mining the detail and humour to be found in the day to day, and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. A coping escape into the world of imagination under the stress of existence is another typical theme. Peter’s story telling is layered and captivating, strongly tethered in place and time to New Zealand, but with an eye to the international market. Peter’s shows go under the rubric of Tinderbox Productions.

Peter’s first TV series, Blind Bitter Happiness, is slated for release on RNZ in 2023.

Blind Bitter Happiness
Blind Bitter Happiness
(Streaming on RNZ from 26 August)
Milo’s Wake
(in development)
wood cutting blades

The Moon Watcher
(in development)


We’re pleased to announce that – drum roll! – that Blind Bitter Happiness will be released on the RNZ platform, nationally and internationally, as a four part limited series, in 2023.
Blind Bitter Happiness has never received ANY public funding. Thus far it’s all been done on love, goodwill, crowd funding, and good old Kiwi DIY!
Watch Blind Bitter Happiness on SEVEN SHARP! See HERE

All about Blind Bitter Happiness, the TV series

Scarlett, played by Tilly Feeney, in trouble and hiding under the grand piano… By LK Creative.

Growing up wasn’t meant to be easy! Raising a family has everything a good story should – high and low comedy, slapstick, drama, and gigantic high voltage emotions. So why not make a TV series about growing up in New Zealand today?

Well, we did – and with some colossal talents on board! Our actors are lead by Lisa Harrow, RSC luminary, and Kiwi heavy weights Claire Chitham, Mark Wright, Jodie Dorday, singer Reb Fountain, Dan Cleary and Peter Feeney – along with up and coming actors Brooklyn Nathan, Abi Turner, and of course Peter’s own children, Tilly, Arlo and Frankie. Reb Fountain also stars, and her seminal song ‘Hopeful and Hopeless,’ supplies the shows emblematic end credits theme

Tilly Feeney
Tilly Feeney celebrating her Best Actor Win, SeriesFest, 2022
Arlo Feeney

Arlo Feeney, playing Jasper, is having some Zip issues… by LK Creative

It’s in the can. On the smell of an oily rag, as we moved in and out of Covid lockdowns; with generous dollops of peoples’ time and genius, with crowd funding, producer donations, goodwill, some of our own money, and an incredible team, we filmed then post produced 2 x 30 minute episodes in 2021/ 2022. We shot pick ups, twice – then we were done.

We also had a heap of fun – check out our Behind the Scenes Videos, BTS Episode One & BTS Episode Two.

We were humbled to have already received several awards for the show, including best Web series at AFIN in Australia, and best emerging actress (for Tilly Feeney) at Series Fest in the US – before we’ve even finished the series!

Set in New Zealand’s suburban heartland, (or ‘wasteland,’ going from the lyrics of Reb Fountain’s Hopeful and Hopeless, a song in the show), and written and directed by Peter Feeney, Blind Bitter Happiness is a comedy, based on the book of the same name,  where the Fahey Family collide with life’s random challenges head on. Our hero is the youngest daughter, the 9yo Scarlett (played by Tilly Feeney, the girl in the video). Scarlett attempts to digest and make sense of the life bombs detonating around her. The first big bite in Season 1 is the death of Scarlett’s beloved Grandad. Over 4 episodes the Fahey’s look death in the eye, and pull together, and apart. With humour and humanity, the show depicts the challenges all Kiwi youth and families face.

Check out our Instagram and Facebook for interviews with our wonderful cast, crew and supporters!

We made a TV series!

This could be just the start…

Making this show has turned into piloting for a new way of making TV in New Zealand, where you get to market a finished product, not an idea. Once our show is aired, we can promote it, and work to get it picked up by overseas streamers and broadcasters, so we can make more TV. That would bring paid employment to dozens of creatives, and get more episodes and seasons viewed worldwide.

Frankie Feeney

Harley, played by Frankie Feeney, fearfully enters her dying Grandfather’s room. By LK Creative

Two amazing actors: Abi Turner and Lisa Harrow. By LK Creative

Praise for Blind Bitter Happiness

What I loved about Blind Bitter Happiness was the realness. It was so authentic. You’ve clearly drawn from something you’ve lived and experienced. The performance and talent of everyone involved just jumped out. – Amanda Palley, Senior Vice President of Programming at CBS

Let me say how very much I enjoyed watching the material you sent. Blind Bitter Happiness is more than a solid achievement in the world of DIY TV series, it’s a miracle. You’ve made a beautiful thing. – Harriet Crampton, Head of Drama at Greenstone Pictures

A project with humour and something to say – Amanda Denholm, Head of Department, Tony Ayres Production

A lovely concept and performances. The warmth shines through – Damian Davis, Head of comedy, CJZ Australia

It is not the tales that are extraordinary; it is the way in which they are told. Feeney, a stage and screen actor, is new to novel writing, but his turn of phrase and relentlessly self-deprecatory sense of humour make this a triumphant debut. It is hilarious from the outset: Blind Bitter Happiness became known as the ‘giggle book’ in my household within a matter of two pages! – NZ Listener (Blind Bitter Happiness the book)

Blind Bitter Happiness
Sheena Irving plays Jamie, Scarlett's mother. By LK Creative
Sheena Irving plays Jamie, Scarlett’s mother. By LK Creative