News: Barn Theatre to re-open for live indoor performances with Michael Morpurgo’s modern classic Private Peaceful

The Barn Theatre has announced today that they will re-open for live indoor theatre performances on 10 September with the transfer of Private Peaceful. The production will run in the main auditorium following the production’s acclaimed sell out run at the theatre’s first outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest, in August.

The theatre has announced changes they have implemented to ensure audience safety throughout their experience. The theatre will run at a reduced capacity with Perspex screens being placed between groups with a new seating layout to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. The theatre has also announced that they have a new and upgraded air filtration system which exceeds governing guidelines to ensure the experience is the safest the theatre can provide. The cast and creative team will also adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and temperature checks.

The safety measures that were successfully utilised during BarnFest – the theatre’s outdoor theatre festival – including temperature checks on arrival, mandatory masks for all patrons over 11 years old, staggered arrival times, sanitisation of public areas and hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points will continue for indoor theatrical performances.

Based on the modern classic by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, The Butterfly Lion), Private Peaceful tells the story of Tommo Peaceful as he reflects upon the events that made him the person he is now, from first love to fighting on the battlefield alongside his brother. Set against the backdrop of World War One, the intimate production runs from 10 – 27 September, .

Michael Morpurgo, the internationally best-selling author of Private Peaceful and long-time supporter of the Barn Theatre, visited the production during its run at the Barn Theatre’s outdoor theatre festival BarnFest for an exclusive post-show Q&A and gave his seal of approval and said: “It was extraordinary, very moving and utterly committed. It didn’t feel like a play at all. It felt like they were telling a story that they really cared about. Really great acting, top notch”.

Private Peaceful will be performed by Emily Costello and James Demaine, directed by Alexander Knott with Zöe Grain as associate director and movement director. The transfer production will feature sound design by Harry Smith (Henry V, Daddy Long Legs) and lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner (Henry V, Just So).

Artistic Director Iwan Lewis said of re-opening: “It’s time to get theatre back indoors and safety is our number one priority! Our team have adapted incredibly to provide the safest possible theatrical experience over the Summer with our outdoor theatre festival BarnFest. Having seen the overwhelming responses from both audience members and critics on how safe and enjoyable their visits were, we are confident that we can replicate and further the same experience indoors. It is fundamental that we maintain this high standard when welcoming our audience members indoors for the first-time following lockdown. Temperature checks, Perspex screens between booking groups, a new seating layout, upgraded air filtration system, staggered arrival times, we are implementing every possible safety measure to ensure that our audiences are provided with the highest quality entertainment in the safest possible environment.”

Private Peaceful is a co-production by BoxLess Theatre, Barn Theatre and Take Two Theatricals, with associate producer Thomas Hopkins.

For more information visit barntheatre.org.uk

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