Pathos With Private Peaceful
Posted by News Editor
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PREVIEW: Private Peaceful, Theatre Royal THIS WEEK
Commemorating the end of World War One, Scamp Theatre’s award-winning production of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful heads to Theatre Royal Winchester from today (Tuesday 13) until Saturday (17 November).
The production is full of vivid detail and dramatic narrative, superbly brought to life by Andy Daniel.
Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. Andy Daniel is starring in the play: “Private Peaceful is an adaptation of the novel by Michael Morpurgo. It is told from the perspective of Tommo Peaceful, an underage British soldier, as he waits to face the firing squad at dawn.
“Tommo is desperate not to waste the time he has left to him and relives his whole life with the audience, remembering his childhood in Devon with his best friend and brother Charlie and the love of his life Molly and of course going off to war.”
He explains what draws him back to this character: “Well first of all the play is such a wonderfully constructed piece of theatre and it really does affect people a great deal. So, it really is an honour to be asked to do it again! Tommo is just such a kind and fun character to play and you really do get to create a warm, strong bond with audience throughout the show, which is really special.”
The play runs in conjunction with the commemoration of World War One, why do you believe it’s important to keep stories like Private Peaceful alive? “Well it is of course important to remember and honour those who fought in WW1 and to keep their memories alive.
“It was such a brutal and destructive conflict and we shouldn’t forget that we are fortunate to have avoided a conflict on a similar scale for the last 70 odd years.
“However, what makes Private Peaceful particularly important is that it highlights a part of the war that until very recently was forgotten or ignored; the execution of soldiers for cowardice. We shot 306 of our own soldiers in WW1, some of whom were clearly suffering from shell shock/PTSD, and the plight of young boys like Tommo should not be forgotten.”