The Nottingham Playhouse production of Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning novel, Private Peaceful, adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and directed by Elle While, today announces it will embark on a major UK tour following its Nottingham premiere.
The tour will open at Chichester Festival Theatre on 1 March 2022, before visiting Bromley, Cambridge, Oxford, Hayes, Hull, Bath, Birmingham, Blackpool, Malvern, Coventry, Guildford, Crewe and Norwich, with further venues still to be announced.
First published in 2003 by Harper Collins, Private Peaceful was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. Acknowledged by Morpurgo as his favourite work, this thrilling new ensemble retelling for the stage explores the lengths a young soldier will go to, to fight for what is right.
Michael Morpurgo OBE says: “Young men and young women who grew up just like Private Peaceful, at home, safe with their families, went off in their millions to the battlefields of the First World War from all over the world. What followed was universal human suffering on a scale never witnessed in human history before. The universality of the tragedy disguises all too easily that each one of those who went was a son or a daughter, loved and so often, lost. Private Peaceful was one of those.
It’s so important to me, and not because I wrote the story, that his story and the story of all the others, is told and told again. It’s wonderful to me that through this extraordinary play, the story is being told in theatres all over this country.”
Private Peaceful introduces us to the Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, whose tough rural childhood, framed by the loss of their father, forges an irrevocable sibling loyalty. Until one day they both fall for the same girl. And then the Great War comes. Here we join 18-year-old Private Tommo Peaceful in the trenches as he takes us on a journey through his most cherished memories and tells his story of courage, devotion, family and friendship.
Private Peaceful is directed by Elle While, with Design by Lucy Sierra, Lighting Design by Matt Haskins, Sound Design by Dan Balfour, Movement Direction by Neil Bettles, Composer Frank Moon, Voice and Dialect Coach Marianne Samuels and Casting Director Ginny Schiller. The UK Tour is produced by Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and supported by Arts Council England through a National Lottery Project Grant award.
Access performances including BSL, Audio Described, Captioned performances and Touch Tours will be available across the tour. There will also be an accompanying education programme for schools, further details to be announced.