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Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful

The Barn Theatre has announced today that they will re-open for live indoor theatre performances on 10 September with the transfer of Private Peaceful. The production will run in the main auditorium following the production’s acclaimed sell out run at the theatre’s first outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest, in August.

The theatre has announced changes they have implemented to ensure audience safety throughout their experience. The theatre will run at a reduced capacity with Perspex screens being placed between groups with a new seating layout to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. The theatre has also announced that they have a new and upgraded air filtration system which exceeds governing guidelines to ensure the experience is the safest the theatre can provide. The cast and creative team will also adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and temperature checks.

The safety measures that were successfully utilised during BarnFest – the theatre’s outdoor theatre festival – including temperature checks on arrival, mandatory masks for all patrons over 11 years old, staggered arrival times, sanitisation of public areas and hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points will continue for indoor theatrical performances.

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. Set against the backdrop of World War One, the intimate production runs from 10 – 27 September, with press night on Tuesday 15 September.

Michael Morpurgo, the internationally best-selling author of Private Peaceful and long-time supporter of the Barn Theatre, visited the production during its run at the Barn Theatre’s outdoor theatre festival BarnFest for an exclusive post-show Q&A and gave his seal of approval saying, “It was extraordinary, very moving and utterly committed. It didn’t feel like a play at all. It felt like they were telling a story that they really cared about. Really great acting, top notch”.

Private Peaceful will be performed by Emily Costello and James Demaine, directed by Alexander Knott with Zöe Grain as associate director and movement director. The transfer production will feature sound design by Harry Smith (Henry V, Daddy Long Legs) and lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner (Henry V, Just So).

Artistic Director Iwan Lewis said of re-opening, “It’s time to get theatre back indoors and safety is our number one priority! Our team have adapted incredibly to provide the safest possible theatrical experience over the Summer with our outdoor theatre festival BarnFest. Having seen the overwhelming responses from both audience members and critics on how safe and enjoyable their visits were, we are confident that we can replicate and further the same experience indoors. It is fundamental that we maintain this high standard when welcoming our audience members indoors for the first-time following lockdown. Temperature checks, Perspex screens between booking groups, a new seating layout, upgraded air filtration system, staggered arrival times, we are implementing every possible safety measure to ensure that our audiences are provided with the highest quality entertainment in the safest possible environment.”

Private Peaceful is a co-production by BoxLess TheatreBarn Theatre and Take Two Theatricals, with associate producer Thomas Hopkins.

The Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, have a tough rural childhood facing the death of their father, financial hardship and a cruel landlord. Their fierce loyalty to each other pulls them through, until one day they both fall for the same girl. And then the Great War comes. Can a bond and loyalty between brothers overcome the brutality of the front lines and bring them safely home?

As Tommo sits in his cell awaiting sunrise, he thinks back on the events that made him the person he is now.

Private Peaceful was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, won the Red House Children’s Book Award and won the Blue Peter Book Award. Acknowledged by Michael Morpurgo (War HorseThe Butterfly Lion) as his favourite work, this one-man adaption by Simon Reade tells the story of a country lad fighting a war he doesn’t understand, for people he cannot respect.

Private Peaceful

Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo

Adapted by Simon Reade

Directed by Alexander Knott  

Associate Director & Movement Director: Zöe Grain

Sound Design: Harry Smith

Lighting Design: Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner

Cast: Emily Costello & James Demaine 

A co-production by BoxLess Theatre, Barn Theatre & Take Two Theatricals, with associate producer Thomas Hopkins

Dates: 10th to 27th September

Previews: 10th (7:30pm), 11th (7:30pm) & 12th (7:30pm)

Times: 12:30pm (Sunday), 2:30pm (Saturday), 5:30pm (Sunday) & 7:30pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

Pricing: £20 standard ticket (£18 concessions)

Address: The Barn Theatre, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester, GL7 1BN

Box Office (Phone): 01285 648 255 (10am-5.30pm, Mon to Sat)

Box Office (Online):



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  • : current/future_show
  • : 41755
  • : The Barn Theatre, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester
  • : 10/09/2020
  • : GL71BN
  • : 27/09/2020
  • : South West
  • : Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo. Adapted by Simon Reade. Co-produced by BoxLess Theatre, The Barn Theatre & Take Two Theatricals.
  • :
  • : £20 (£18 concessions)
  • : 1285648255