Michael Morpurgo To Make Guest Appearance At Barnfest Outdoor Theatre Festival

Michael Morpurgo and Iwan Lewis
Michael Morpurgo and Iwan Lewis

The Barn Theatre in Cirencester have announced internationally best-selling author Michael Morpurgo will make a guest appearance at BarnFest – Outdoor Theatre Festival for a post-show Q&A session following the opening night performance of Simon Reade’s play adaptation of his modern classic Private Peaceful on 17 August.

The new outdoor theatre production of Simon Reade’s play adaptation of Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo runs at BarnFest from 17th to 22nd August. The production, directed by Alexander Knott, will star Emily Costello (Hedgehog, Loop) & James Demaine (Loop, Buried).

The question and answer session will see Morpurgo discuss his ongoing relationship with the theatre which began with their 2019 production of Daniel Buckroyd’s stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion, the process behind writing Private Peaceful and bringing it to the stage, as well as answering questions submitted by the general public.

Private Peaceful, acknowledged by Michael Morpurgo as his favourite work, follows Tommo Peaceful as he reflects on the events that made him the person he is now, such as fighting with his brother on the front lines of the Great War, the loss of their father and falling in love for the first time.

Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful has received international acclaim and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, won the Red House Children’s Book Award and won the Blue Peter Book Award.

The theatre was originally scheduled to be in rehearsal for the world premiere of Vicki Berwick’s stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s The Mozart Question, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, however due to the global pandemic it has been postponed until further notice.

Private Peaceful is co-produced by Take Two Theatricals, BoxLess Theatre and the Barn Theatre.

The festival will feature a two week run of the Kander & Ebb musical revue The World Goes ‘Round. The new production, which features songs from the duos iconic musicals including Chicago and Cabaret, will run at the outdoor festival from 24 August to 5 September. The production will be directed by Kirk Jameson with musical direction by Nick Barstow and casting will be announced at a later date.

The festival includes West End musical theatre star Natasha Barnes and Vikki Stone in their new musical cabaret Funny Gals (5-8 August), Outlander star Rosie Day in Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon (10-15 August) and EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell in Scoot Theatre’s reimagined production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (29-30 August).

The Barn Theatre (registered charity no. 1174253) have launched their SAVE OUR BARN campaign, via their website and social media platforms, to ensure the Barn Theatre’s survival.

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