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Private Peaceful

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This powerful adaptation of the popular children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo explores the courage and cowardice of soldiers of the First World War. The structure of the play is simple: over the course of an evening Private ‘Tommo’ Peaceful recounts moments from his life, which are framed by the more pressing meeting he has with the firing squad the next morning.

The simplicity and repetitious nature of the structure is counteracted by the array of characters presented to us by the only actor in the production – Leon Williams. Williams’ portrayal of Tommo is convincing and affecting, and it is enhanced further by his transformation into the other characters that make up his life story.

Williams is able to shift from, for example, a taunting old woman to a bombastic sergeant major with such smooth clarity that viewers of all ages are hooked throughout.

The combination of a compelling story and a vibrant performance warrants this show a viewing.

- Charlotte Pegram


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