City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Private Peaceful Review

By Alex Eades - Posted on 11 August 2009

Fringe 2009: Private Peaceful
Show details
Scamp Theatre
Running time: 
Simon Reade (director), Bill Talbot (designer), Suzie Foster (stage manager), Elanor Higgins (lighting), Jason Barnes (sound designer)

There was a nice mix of people sitting inside the Udderbelly this afternoon. Grandparents shared programs with their young grand children. Husbands and wives squabbled with their moody teenage sons and daughters who were grumpy because they had to wait in the rain. Then they squabbled amongst themselves. There were students. Or at least people who looked like students. It was a pleasant atmosphere. Not that dissimilar to that of a pantomime. There was an air of excitement about the place that was contagious.

Of course, Private Peaceful is anything but a pantomime. In fact, it is about as far away from a pantomime as you can get.

The play, based on the book of the same name, sits with a young soldier named Tommo Peaceful who is awaiting his execution on the charge of cowardice. During the night before his death, he reflects on his short life and his journey up until this final point.

If ever there was a play that made you grow up pretty darn quick, it is this one. Never before have I seen something so heart-wrenchingly truthful about the innocence lost in war.

Warm, funny and joyful meet fear, pain and tragedy in this, what has to be the finest and certainly the most important show at the Fringe this year.

Finn Hanlon is simply outstanding as the tragic Private Peaceful. He captivates the audience with the innocents and charm of the character that we so want to succeed.....but ultimately we know to be doomed.

Everybody should be made to see this, especially the young. An incredible story performed with heart and soul that should unquestionably be made part of the national curriculum. I beg you to take yourselves and your family to see it.

Times: 6-31 Aug (not 17), 2pm