Private Peaceful, Birmingham Rep (Andy Daniel) - courtesy of Jonathan Keenan
Private Peaceful, Birmingham Rep (Andy Daniel) - courtesy of Jonathan Keenan

Commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I, Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, directed by Simon Reade, returns to Edinburgh prior to a West End run and UK Tour. Andy Daniel returns to the role in Scamp Theatre’s award-winning production.

Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon – his exciting first days at school, the accident in the forest that killed his father, his adventures with Molly the love of his life, and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line.

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s inspiration came from a visit to a museum in Ypres where he was shocked to discover that 306 young soldiers were court-martialled and shot for cowardice during the First World War – two of them simply for falling asleep at their posts.

In 2006, the British Government finally granted posthumous pardons to those shot at dawn for cowardice or desertion. Private Peaceful seeks to honour these men and their families.

Full of vivid detail and dramatic narrative, Private Peaceful is both a compelling love story and a deeply moving account of a soldier’s life in World War I.

Michael Morpurgo comments, “Private Peaceful at the theatre is a moving experience that not only tells the story of a young soldier’s final day in World War One, but perhaps more importantly conveys the strength of human spirit.”

Louise Callow, director of Scamp Theatre comments, “Scamp has a long history of producing work for the Edinburgh Festival and we delight in the unique opportunities that can arise. Back in 2007, Julia Donaldson came to see our production of Aesop’s Fables – she loved the show and little did we know that would begin a wonderful longstanding relationship. It was that same festival that Scamp saw Bristol Old Vic’s production of Private Peaceful for the first time and since then we have produced five International tours, an off-Broadway run and a West End stint at Theatre Royal Haymarket, co-producing with The National Theatre. Having served 19 years in the army, I am delighted to continue work on this beautiful show and reach even more audiences in 2018.”

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is at Underbelly Bristo Square (Cow Barn).

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