Two Old Oratorians, Jack Maple (OS 2008-13) and Alexander Knott (OS 2006-13) have produced and directed the first new play to open in London’s West End since lockdown started in March 2020.
On 7 November, a new production of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful will become the first new play to open in London’s West End since lockdown started in March. When it opens at the Garrick Theatre it will also be the only play currently performing in the West End. It is produced by Old Oratorian Jack Maple, and directed by fellow Old Oratorion Alexander Knott. They both left The Oratory School in 2013 and have both been working in the industry ever since. They are delighted that their production, which has already enjoyed socially-distanced success at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, will now be the first play to open in the West End. Before then, the show is also set to enjoy a sell-out run at the Bristol Old Vic.
The limited two-week season at the Garrick Theatre will run from 7 to 22 November 2020, with a Remembrance Day Gala and Press Night in aid of the Royal British Legion and Farms for City Children (founded by Michael and Clare Morpurgo) at 7pm on Wednesday 11 November. There will also be a special 11.01am performance on 11 November. Audience capacity will be reduced and distanced for the two-week run.
Michael Morpurgo said of the transfer, “Private Peaceful, the play adapted for the stage by Simon Reade, has had a long and remarkable journey. From book to play to film, the story has grown in stature with each transformation. But perhaps now has been the most remarkable moment. With theatres shut down all over the country, the Barn Theatre in Cirencester decided to put on its first indoor show, one of the first in the country, a new co-production by BoxLess Theatre and Take Two Theatrical of Private Peaceful, taking all necessary precautions, is a production that has garnered glowing reviews, and is shortly on its way to the Garrick Theatre in London. This is our theatre at its courageous best: powerful, innovative, unforgettable. Theatre is on its way back, coming home!”
We wish Jack and Alexander the very best of luck.