Private Peaceful tells the story of Tommo, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he relives his short but vivid past: his terrifying first day at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; late-night poaching with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that have brought him to the front line.
The novel was inspired by a visit to Ypres where Morpurgo was shocked to discover how many young soldiers were court-martialled and shot for cowardice during the First World War.
Paul Chequer can be seen later this year as Corporal in the Private Peaceful feature film. His National Theatre credits include Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse where he played young solider David Taylor in the original cast, England People Very Nice and Tales from Vienna Woods. Chequer has previously performed Private Peaceful on stage at the Bristol Old Vic.
Mark Quartley graduated from RADA in 2010. He has subsequently appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Measure for Measure and Written on the Heart for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Tempest for the Theatre Royal Bath. He has previously performed Private Peaceful on tour nationwide as well as on BBC Radio 4.
The National Theatre presents Private Peaceful, a Scamp Theatre production in association with Poonamallee Productions, by arrangement with the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
- by Rosie Bannister
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