Powerful wartime play Private Peaceful at Blackmore Theatre Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 12:51 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:51 31 October 2018

Jasper Wiseman as Private Tommo Peaceful. Picture: Gill Bates

Jasper Wiseman as Private Tommo Peaceful. Picture: Gill Bates

Gill Bates

Drama inspired by soldiers executed for cowardice or desertion during the First World War

The First World War centenary events on Remembrance Sunday will honour the service personnel killed in action during the conflict.

But a performance by the Exmouth Players on the same date focuses on the WW1 soldiers who were executed by their own side after being found guilty of cowardice or desertion.

In Private Peaceful, a young condemned soldier from Devon looks back on his childhood, his family and the love of his life, as he awaits the firing squad at dawn.

The play is based on the book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, who was shocked to learn how many young soldiers were shot because they could no longer face the horrors of the front line.

Today, it is widely believed that they were suffering from shell shock or post-traumatic stress disorder, and in 2006 all 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were executed were granted posthumous pardons.

Private Peaceful is at the Blackmore Theatre on Saturday November 10 and Sunday 11, plus a Saturday matinee. For tickets contact the box office, 07484 509514.

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