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EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: PRIVATE PEACEFUL, Underbelly, August 2 2014

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EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: PRIVATE PEACEFUL, Underbelly, August 2 2014

Private Peaceful is a first hand account of a WW1 soldier, based on the novel by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

This is essentially a one man show with Andy Daniels as Thomas "Tommo" Peaceful. Tommo tells the audience his life story up until this moment, where he is sixteen years old. Daniels manages to revert back to a five-year-old boy with convincing mannerisms and a childlike tone. He tells of his first day at school, his father's death and how he idolises his big brother Charlie. We also learn about his first love - and his sense of betrayal when his brother falls in love with her too.

When Tommo is sixteen he follows his brother into the army and takes us through his experiences in No Man's Land. The audience is completely silent throughout, absolutely captivated by Daniels' storytelling. Although some of the performance is quite physical, it doesn't go overboard so it allows the audience to really focus on the story. The set also remains simple yet effective and the lighting is subtle which is an excellent touch.

The final scene of the performance gave me chills. This is a truly special piece of theatre, and from the standing ovation at the end - it looks like I'm not alone in my thinking.

Private Peaceful runs at McEwen Hall, Underbelly until August 25th.

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