Thursday, 2 October 2014
Theatre: Private Peaceful....
Private Peaceful, at The New Wolsey Theatre, performed by just one man, Andy Daniel.
By / Michael Morpurgo (Author of War Horse)
Adapted & Directed by / Simon Reade
Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War 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.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year, Private Peaceful is by third Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo. His inspiration came from a visit to Ypres where he was shocked to discover how many young soldiers were court-martialled and shot for cowardice during the First World War.
We went to the matinee of this as the whole week at the Wolsey is a sell out. We were joined by at least two very large and very noisy school groups. This brilliant actor held the stage and his whole audience for the full 1hour 40mins, the children were all quiet. He didn't even break the spell at the interval by not leaving the stage, just laying on his bunk resting.
I found it so powerful and moving that I had to stand to applaud, my friends stood too.
I was also compelled to write a review on the theatre's website and then tweet the actor and the theatre as soon as I got home...
Today's matinee of Private Peaceful is probably the most powerful performance by a solo actor
I have ever seen. In fact he wasn't acting he was truly living the part and we all lived it with him!