The cast of South Hill Park’s upcoming autumn production, Private Peaceful (Wed 10 – Sun 14 Oct), reflect on their characters, the centenary of the First World War and why bringing history to life is so important.
Keir Buist stars as Private Tommo Peaceful.
“The character of Tommo has an incredibly emotional journey throughout the play, starting from his nervous excitement starting school in rural Devon, right up to terror he experiences fighting for his life on the trenches in France and Belgium with his older brother, Charlie alongside him. It was this
journey that I was particularly excited to explore when I was cast in this challenging, but rewarding role. The fact that this production commemorates the centenary of the end of World War One makes it particularly special and important, and I know that the entire creative team are incredibly invested in making this production as good as it can be.”
Ally McEnhill stars as Molly.
“When I first read this play, I loved that Molly was not your stereotypical Edwardian adolescent woman. She is a bit of a tom-boy, as well as being strong-willed, opinionated and passionate individual. Her relationship with the two Peaceful brothers as they are all growing up is incredibly touching, and a lovely thing to portray as an actor. Even when they are hundreds of miles away fighting a war they don’t really understand, Molly is supporting them through letters of joy and of hope. I find it particularly poignant, as an 18 year old woman, there would be people younger than me marching off to die. I can’t really wrap my head around that idea. There’s many times during the rehearsal where things become incredibly emotional, even 100 years on.”
Michael Ayiotis stars as Charlie Peaceful
“When I saw the audition call for this production, I signed up instantly as I’ve been desperate to perform in a war piece for so long. The beauty of doing a production like this at South Hill Park is the guarantee that the production values will be exceptionally high, as well as being incredibly faithful to the book, and respectful of the history and the subject matter. I just love performing at South Hill Park – that’s why I come back every single time! From all the actors who take part to the tech crew, to the people we meet after the show who give feedback, the whole thing is such a rush. I recently became an uncle, which has made the loyalty and trust explored in this production through the Peaceful family something which I can really relate to. The protectiveness which Charlie shows towards Tommo really resonates with me now, as I feel it every time I visit my new nephew.”
For more information and tickets, click here.
Photography by Tim Bastock and Tony Langford.