First World Way play Private Peaceful heads to Queen’s Theatre
18:00 30 August 2014
An actor’s 90-year-old war veteran grandfather will be the guest of honour at a Queen’s Theatre production of an acclaimed First World War-inspired play.
The stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, adapted and directed by Simon Reade, comes to the Hornchurch theatre on September 21 as part of its UK tour.
Popular with both adults and children, the show charts the experiences of Private Tommo Peaceful, a First World War soldier facing the firing squad for cowardice.
The one-man production stars Andy Daniel, whose family have chosen the Queen’s date on the production’s 25-show tour to celebrate James Daniel’s 90th birthday.
It will be the eighth time the RAF veteran of the Second World War, whose own father served in the First, has seen the show.
Andy said he knew relatively little about his great grandfather’s experience as a soldier in the Aberdeen Pals regiment between 1914-18.
But the 29-year-old added: “He was there for the duration of the war and will have lost a lot of friends.”
Private Peaceful’s UK tour has been timed to coincide with the First World War centenary, and has recently finished a run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
But Andy thinks the show stands out from the mass of cultural commemorations taking place this autumn because it tells a “specific” and “individual” tale.
And the young actor, a graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School from London, said the show was for everyone.
“The best audience for the show--it’s a show that both adults and children like, and the best audience has both.
“If we’ve got too much of one of the other, it’s still good but lacks something.”
He went on: “Adults laugh at different moments - they see the irony in it more, whereas children are a bit more unaware and don’t see it coming in the same way.”
• Tickets for the show are already on sale and can be bought from the Queen’s Theatre box office or by visiting www.queens-theatre.co.uk