Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Nottingham Lace Market Theatre

Private Peaceful is a modern novel written for older children by Michael Morpurgo. It is about a soldier called Thomas "Tommo" Peaceful, who is looking back on his life from his childhood to his present day from the trenches of World War I in Belgium.

It's a very powerful and emotive story, made all the more intense by the intimacy of the upstairs studio setting. It also tells of the horrors of war,and how the women and loved ones back home are to some extent shielded from the reality of what was happening on the front line.

Martin Pikett is a talented story teller, painting pictures in your head of what he went through as Private "Tommo" Peaceful, alongside his elder brother Private Charlie Peaceful, played by George Page-Bailey, who we saw not too long ago at the Lace Market Theatre in "Rutherford & Son".

A very able cast portray several variable characters each, all of them with their own virtual paintbrush to paint their own characters in your head.

The use of cinematic projection transported you to varied scenes. From the farm in Devon to the Belgian trenches, and I found it very easy to be swept along with these scenes and characters.

Beautifully directed by Paul Johnson with clever lighting designed by Peter Hodgekinson with Martin Curtis providing the sound. The costumes were true to the era and complemented the feel of the overall production.

If you do not find yourself getting emotionally involved in this play, then you haven't bought into the story, and that will be of no fault of the actors who, as I've said in the past who find themselves working in close proximity of the audience in this setting, are truly in the spotlight when so close to their audience.

I can understand why this week is sold out because it's a wonderful play, brought to you by some truly talented actors and crew.

"Private Peaceful" is on until Saturday 5 July 2014

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