Simon Reade’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, the BoxLess Theatre production that opened as part of the Barn Theatre’s outdoor theatre festival in August, will play a limited West End run beginning November 7 at the Garrick Theatre.
Part of Nimax Theatres’ plans to reopen theatres, the transfer will be the first new production to be staged indoors in London’s West End since the March shutdown. (Other long-running shows, such Six and The Play That Goes Wrong at the Nimax-owned Lyric and Duchess Theatre, respectively, also have a fall reopening plan.)
The limited two-week season will run through November 22 with a Remembrance Day Gala and press night in aid of the Royal British Legion and Farms for City Children November 11.
The West End run will be preceded by four performances at Bristol Old Vic beginning October 21.
Private Tommo is played by Emily Costello, the first female performer to play the role on the professional stage. James Demaine plays Charlie. Staging will ensure the two actors never touch and are socially distanced.
Private Peaceful relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in the countryside.
Alexander Knott directs with associate direction by Zöe Grain, movement direction and composition by Demaine, sound design by Harry Smith, and lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner.
Reade says the new production is "blazing a trail for audiences hungry to return to theatre and celebrate all humanity as we live on through these dark times; it is a beacon of hope and a thing of joy for all of us."
Capacity at the Garrick has been reduced to comply with COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing. In addition to hand sanitation, face coverings, and track and trace, other measures will include contactless tickets, temperature testing, and the deep clean and sanitation of the theatre.
Private Peaceful is produced by Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger-Goode for Take Two Theatricals and the Barn Theatre. Associate producers are Julie Clare, and Thomas Hopkins and Michael Quinn for GingerQuiff Media.