MICHAEL Morpurgo’s favourite book, Private Peaceful, is brought to the stage this week in a dramatic adaptation at the Wycombe Swan.

Set against the epic backdrop of WW1, the story follows the voice of a young soldier, Thomas ‘Tommo’ Peaceful as he looks back on his life while sitting on the front lines.

The First World War cost the lives of up to 40 million people, soldiers, and civilians across multiple countries, and with the hindsight of history before us, it was a particularly poignant performance, especially in these difficult times.

Bucks Free Press:

Tommo, alongside his brother Charlie Peaceful, face a tough rural childhood in Devon before the Great War in 1914, losing of their father, going through financial hardship and under the rule of a heartless landlord.

As you see the two grow up they fall for the same girl (Molly) while struggling with the pressures of their troubled family life and talks of the war breaking out.

When the war comes they voluntarily sign up to be sent to fight on the frontline and with thanks to the first-class performances of Daniel Rainford (Tommo) and Daniel Boyd (Charlie), the audience is brilliantly transported to the No Man’s Land. 

With the war persisting longer than anyone expects you are taken on a journey with the pair as they turn from children to tormented soldiers suffering the turmoil of life in the trenches.

Bucks Free Press:

Director Elle While does a great job of telling the story of the Peaceful brothers which has been wonderfully adapted from the 2003 novel by writer Simon Reade.

John Dougall, Robert Ewens, Tom Kanji, and Emma Manton play a variety of roles switching between their era-specific characters with ease.

Liyah Summers plays Molly superbly, and also reappears into five other parts.

The imaginative and versatile set doubles as the Devin countryside as well as Flanders Field transporting the audience from home to the heart of WW1.

Bucks Free Press:

The novel won numerous won accolades including the Red House Children's Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award as well as being shortlisted for the Carnegie Award.

However, fond readers of this Morpurgo book won't be disappointed by the stage performance which stands alone as a great piece of work.

Pre-show dining is available at the Wycombe Swan with a brand-new menu that offers a wide range of starters, mains and interval desserts (See pictures).

To book tickets visit: https://wycombeswan.co.uk/