Michael Morpurgo’s Blue Peter ‘Book of the Year, Private Peaceful, adapted for the stage by Simon Reade comes to Waterside. Recommended for ages 8 and up, Private Peaceful tells the story of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn.
This moving single-hander manages to portray both the horror of war and the joyfulness of living. During the night, Private Peaceful reflects on his short but joyful past: his schooldays, growing up in rural Devon, the time spent with his father, his sweetheart, and the injustices that brought him to the front line of battle.
We love how theatre can engage young audiences with different historical perspectives.
Morpurgo’s inspiration for Private Peaceful came following the publication of War Horse when he attended a conference for children’s writers and illustrators in Ypres. The conference was held in the war museum in Flanders Fields. During his time there, Morpurgo became intrigued by a framed typed letter he saw on a wall. The letter had been sent by a captain in the army to the mother of a soldier, informing her that her son had been shot at dawn for cowardice. Moved by the mother’s grief, Morpurgo felt compelled to find out about the soldiers who had been executed and to raise awareness of their story.
This moving single-hander manages to portray both the horror of war and the joyfulness of living.
Around a quarter of a million teenage boys marched off from Britain 100 years ago, often signed up under-age, totally unprepared for the horrors of modern warfare, Morpurgo’s story tells just one of them.
Running at around 75 minutes long, Simon Reade’s stage adaptation communicates from the viewpoint of a young ordinary soldier. Above all, we love how theatre can engage young audiences with different historical perspectives.