“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!”
Those are the moving words of a young World War I soldier from the novel ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo - and his popular novel for young adults is now being brought to life on stage at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine by Belfast theatre group Pintsized Productions.
Set during World War I, Private Peaceful charts eight hours in the life of Tommo, a young soldier at the Front, as he looks back over the formative events of his life: his father’s early death, his relationship with his loving mother and brothers, Big Joe and Charlie, and their beloved schoolfriend Molly – all set among an evocative and beautifully realised rural landscape.
Passionate, beguiling and moving, this award-winning story is also an unflinching examination of the horrors of war and the injustice surrounding the execution of soldiers by firing squad, on the – often false – grounds of desertion or cowardice. Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo used all his superb storytelling skills to weave this powerful, poignant tale of the horrors of World War I, which touched readers of all ages.
The book was adapted into a play of the same name by Simon Reade, first performed at the Bristol Old Vic in April 2004, and starred Alexander Campbell. Later the production enjoyed sell-out transfers to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and London’s West End, and then toured the United Kingdom.
Now Pintsized Productions’ director Nuala Donnelly and stage manager Emily Lamey are bringing the play to life again at various venues around Northern Ireland.
One actor - Odhran McNulty - brings a host of 22 characters to life in this highly physical and poignant show that charts Tommo’s infancy, teenage years and ‘adulthood’ along with all the trials and tribulations that come with those early years.
‘Private Peaceful’ plays at Coleraine’s Riverside Theatre on Thursday, November 21 at 8pm.
For tickets, book now on 028 70 123 123 or online at https://www.riversidetheatre.org.uk/whats-on/private-peaceful.
For information on further dates check out the website http://www.pintsizedni.com/