“I’ve had nearly eighteen years of yesterdays and tomorrows, and tonight I must remember as many of them as I can. Tonight, more than any other night of my life, I want to feel alive!” 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 the countryside: 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.
Based on the modern classic by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, The Butterfly Lion), Private Peaceful tells the story of Tommo Peaceful as he reflects upon the events that made him the person he is now, from first love to fighting on the battlefield alongside his brother.
Private Tommo is played by Emily Costello. Emily is the first female performer to play Tommo on the professional stage and her performance has been described by Michael Morpurgo as “extraordinary”. This production of PRIVATE PEACEFUL is the first to have two cast members rather than being a solo piece, as it was originally written. James Demaine will play Charlie and other roles. It has been staged so that the two actors never touch and are socially distanced.
The production is directed by Alexander Knott, with Zöe Grain as associate director and movement director and composition by James Demaine. Sound design is by Harry Smith and lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner. Associate producers are Julie Clare, and Thomas Hopkins & Michael Quinn for GingerQuiff Media.
Capacity at the Garrick Theatre has been reduced to comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines for social distancing plus robust risk mitigation. In addition to hand sanitation, face coverings and track and trace, other measures will include contactless tickets, temperature testing and the deep clean and sanitation of the theatre.