PREPARING FOR PRIVATE PEACEFUL
Emily Harris, Head of Drama, directs this year’s Lower School Production, ‘Private Peaceful’.
We are eagerly anticipating our exciting set build this coming weekend for the production – the Warminster Sports Hall is set to become an epic installation of the Front Line.
The Drama Department have been busy sourcing authentic props and costumes and given the timing of this show, when lots of other schools are thinking of marking the centenary next year, of the end of the First World War, were delighted to meet Taff Gillingham from ‘Khaki Devils’. Taff formed ‘Kahki Devils’ with two partners in 2001, with a mission to improve historical accuracy in military uniforms, equipment, weapons and props for film, television and theatre productions. They hired equipment and costumes and offered consultation to the production company working on the 2012 film of ‘Private Peaceful’, and our cast from years 7-10, will benefit from such a professional experience.
Emily Harris, explains further about tackling this ambitious set build, “We have taken delivery of our set, which will offer a simple way of getting 42 scenes on and off stage. Some years ago, I went to see Damien Cruden’s production of ‘The Railway Children’ when it was first put on in London’s Waterloo Station. I was inspired by the moving platforms and how seamlessly they moved the action in and out. When thinking about ‘Private Peaceful’, I remembered this, and thought that staging this play in traverse would make sense of Tommo’s many different memories.”
Private Peaceful tells the heart-wrenching story of Tommo, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he relives his short but vivid past: his terrifying first day at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; late-night poaching with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that have brought him to the front line.
The play is set in 1916, just before the Battle of the Somme. Many of the soldiers were fatigued by the war at this point and well aware that they were being sent to an almost certain death when ordered to go “over the top‟ to attack the German trenches.
We look forward to welcoming and enlisting our audience. Tickets are available to book through ticketsource.co.uk. We have a matinee for schools, which is also open to the public, on Wednesday 21st at 1pm. Evening performances will start at 7pm on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June respectively. Please contact Catherine Simons or Emma Brumby for further information.