Private Peaceful (One actor version)

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  1m

Private Peaceful
by Michael Morpurgo
adapted by Simon Reade

Michael Morpurgo's moving story of a young soldier, killed by firing squad in the First World War.

This adaptation is for one actor - a version for ensemble casts is also available.

Private Peaceful (One actor version)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Docudrama/Historic



“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!”

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 rural Devon: his exciting first days at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; his adventures with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line.

  • Time Period 1910s / WWI
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 75 Minutes


“The horrors of war and the joyfulness of life are bound up together in this magnificent one-man show” *****
The Scotsman 
“An infinitely touching, intensely acted account of a young First World War Soldier’s final day” *****
Sunday Express

 “As moving as the poetry of Wilfred Owen and as painfully memorable as white-hot shrapnel…" *****
The Sunday Herald

“Morpurgo’s magic, a masterly adaptation by Simon Reade .... This is one hour of your own life you will never forget”
Daily Mail 

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.


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Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo began writing stories in the early ’70s, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003. He has written ...

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Simon Reade

Simon Reade has adapted Private Peaceful as an internationally touring award-winning one-man show, for schools and youth theatres, for BBC Radio 4, and as a feature film starring George Mackay and Jack O’Connell. His other Morpurgo adaptations include An Elephant in the Garde ...
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