Closed 1h 25m
Private Peaceful
Midtown W
86

Private Peaceful NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(131 Reviews)
Positive
98%
Mixed
2%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Masterful, Riveting

About the Show

This new one-man play, adapted from the young adult novel by Michael  Morpurgo ('War Horse'), offers a timely reminder of the heroic sacrifices that were made by the soldiers in World War I.

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Member Reviews (131)

82
Absorbing, Edgy, Great staging, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You want as frenetic paced play with s great plot. O Regan is excellent.

Don't see it if If you dont want a ww1 story . A sad story.

80
Grim, Moving, Sad, Intense, Great acting

See it if Solo actor vividly depicts relationships prior to the war with color and flair, evoking a life filled with love, friendship & humor.

Don't see it if Then comes being shelled & terrified in a trench. The ending is bleak. Thick accent & poor acoustics.

Critic Reviews (21)

September 6th, 2018

"O’Regan attacks the various roles like he’s engaged in a full-body, full-spirit workout...This actorly excellence (and he really is excellent) is a kind of smoke screen — a gas attack, if you’re feeling nasty — for the cruelty, the unsparing feel-badness of the play. The original novel is a heart-tugger, absolutely, but Reade’s adaptation, which fiddles with an essential story point, leaves it pretty well devoid of hope...It’s clear what Reade’s adaptation is fighting against, but what is it fighting for?"
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September 7th, 2018

"The story may sound familiar, but you’ve likely never seen O’Regan, who makes a spectacular U.S. debut. It’s exhilarating to watch him inhabit the tale’s two dozen characters, switching accents and attitudes like Sybil on steroids. Even more impressive than his versatility is his ability to tap into your imagination as well as your emotions...He’s playing a private, but it’s a four-star performance."
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September 7th, 2018

"Morpurgo interviewed veterans of the First World War...His resulting young-adult novel, about a teenage soldier subjected to humiliation and violence at the hands of his bullying commanders, has echoes of ‘Catch-22’, without the comedy. In Reade’s excellent, dreamlike adaptation for the stage, the story unfolds as a dramatic monologue by the title character, played by the talented O’Regan, who, in the course of eighty-five minutes, also inhabits twenty-three other roles.”
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September 7th, 2018

"The scope of O'Regan's performance is impressive...His work is masterfully skilled and technically precise, but it's also vibrantly alive. He creates unique portrayals and tics for every person featured...Reade's production is swift, and he really knows how to raise the suspense...Simplicity is the name of the game...Sometimes all you need is one exceptional actor and a resourceful script to bring the fireworks to the stage.”
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September 7th, 2018

"Tommo and Charlie are only two of millions of anonymous soldiers, but what happens to them approaches the level of tragedy. That this is so can be attributed to Simon Reade's sensitive adaptation of Morpurgo's text...I'd happier if I could have reported that Reade's direction wasn't quite so busy, finding a fussy bit of stage business for each moment and character...Still, O'Regan, who is possessed of untold funds of energy, conjures up...a universe of characters."
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September 7th, 2018

"A taut, tension-filled 85-minute one-man telling...I haven’t seen the 2012 film—which marked the late Richard Griffiths’ final performance—but I’ll wager that this solo show, performed with great heart and ferocity by Shane O’Regan, is far more compelling...All of the detail—and there’s a surprising amount packed into such a lean production—comes from Morpurgo’s story, Reade’s script, and O’Regan’s finely shaded characterizations."
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September 8th, 2018

"O’Regan’s exceptional performance and Reade’s highly theatrical staging invigorates ‘Private Peaceful’, a familiar and formulaic World War I solo play...This dutiful treatment of the subject matter would perhaps be best appreciated by adolescent audiences. Anyone else could find it to be a by the numbers narrative with presentational flourishes...’Private Peaceful’ does have its virtues but is a relatively flat experience.”
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September 6th, 2018

"There are few more daunting theatrical challenges than making the familiar seem fresh, which is why one must salute solo performer Shane O'Regan's ability to keep the audience so attentive throughout most of the 80 minutes...Even if you've never read the novel or seen its film adaptation, this tale contains very little we haven't heard before. Yet O'Regan's incredibly committed and strikingly energetic performance almost makes you feel he's covering completely new ground."
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September 6th, 2018

“’Private Peaceful’ has none of the elaborate stagecraft of the earlier 'War Horse’...But it has its own, modest stage magic, thanks to actor O’Regan, who portrays Tommo Peaceful and some two dozen other characters in an impressively broad range of affects and accents...The actor’s accents and actions are not always crystal clear. Still, there is some nuanced craft in the way...Reade works with O’Regan to present contrasting scenes of war and peace, as the essence of grace and disgrace.”
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September 6th, 2018

"There really isn't much…that hasn't been seen or heard in the dozens of earlier plays and movies about World War I...'Private Peaceful'…registers principally as an opportunity for O'Regan to embody 24 characters…In performance…it becomes more a display of the actor's considerable vocal and physical craft-with one dramatic moment following the other in rapid succession-than the emotionally powerful experience it deserves to be."
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September 26th, 2018

“O’Regan is a thoroughly engaging and energetic performer who moves about and fills a nearly empty blackbox with the joyful ferociousness of a child at play—a purposeful technique of director and adapter Simon Reade’s crisp production...O’Regan’s mastery of subtle dialects and accents captures the world-expanding experience of Tommo’s adolescent voyage...An intense, beautiful, and memorable evening of devastating storytelling.”
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September 6th, 2018

"An intense tour de force...A stunning performance...This powerful play has been cleverly and movingly adapted and directed...O’Regan, Reader, and Bhatia make us graphically feel the terror of being cannon fodder, fighting for one’s country amid the mud, rats, and rain...In playing so many characters so brilliantly, O’Regan also paints, better than multiple actors could, all the influences, good and bad, that contribute to the psychological canvas of the sweet-but-scarred Tommo himself."
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September 10th, 2018

"Compelling stage adaptation...It’s a story that’s devastating to watch (even for adults, much less for children), but important to hear....Shane O’Regan stars in the demanding one-man show, turning in an emotionally-gripping and physically-expressive tour-de-force performance...A deeply shocking examination of the devastation wrought by war on innocent people, with a profoundly disturbing message of man’s inhumanity to man."
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September 10th, 2018

"With Reade's direction, O'Regan uses the space of the stage will full physicality, leaping and rolling around like an 8-year-old boy...Physically and emotionally, O'Regan effortlessly inhabits the roles of 24 characters...Young men off to war is not a new story. Nor is the choice of knowing instinctively what is right and moral, even in war, or following orders. Yet Shane O'Regan's cocksure perceptive of Tommo gives a powerful reminder of war's horrors."
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September 14th, 2018

"Irish actor Shane O’Regan magnetically holds the stage...O’Regan brings the title character to vibrant, often ebullient life...Tommo becomes an actual person desperate to recount the days of his life and the value of them before they end in an unjust death. And with O’Regan’s intensity, Reade’s staging, Anshuman Bhatia’s lighting design, and Jason Barnes’ sound, the trenches and the battlefields become a virtual reality."
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September 11th, 2018

“A resonant piece...Deep and meaningful...Reade did a fantastic job directing this one act play. O’Regan, in constant movement made this eighty minutes fly by. We were engrossed in this boy’s life, we felt for this young man, we wanted to defend him, we loved Charlie for doing this for us...O’Reagan, up for multiple awards back in the UK, as is Morpurgo, delivers the goods in a big way, His accents of other people, his movements, his explosiveness is not to be missed.”
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May 11th, 2017

"'Private Peaceful' still retains a sucker punch sting in its tail, and more than compensates for a lack of grit with some old, English countryside charm and generous lashings of nostalgia...Under Reade’s direction, O’Regan delivers a simply superb performance, wonderfully restrained...With its dramatic, thematic, and theatrical integrity, 'Private Peaceful' delivers a delightfully engaging production, one built around an astoundingly wonderful solo performance."
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May 11th, 2017

"Features only one cast member, with O’Regan playing all 24 characters. He changes quickly between innocent children and old hags, and everything in between...The story is quite a simple, straightforward one...It is a very impressive performance, one which shows endurance and great versatility by O’Regan. It is extremely difficult to command an audience’s attention for that length of time, but his energy level never dips as he tells the story through a wide range of characters."
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May 26th, 2017

"This play is a classic story and O’Regan engulfs the stage to deliver his passionate performance...O’Regan slips into all of these roles with incredible ease...He proves himself as a talented shapeshifter, and a well accomplished character actor...The second half meandered. Simon Reade, as both writer and director could have tightened the flow of the progression of war. But there were some moving scenes...This play would be a great one for families."
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May 17th, 2017

“This isn’t the first time Reade has adapted Morpurgo’s novel. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s adapted it to stage, and it shows in how crisp, unfussy and streamlined the central story is...This piece would live or die based on how its solo performer handles the emotional wringer. Good thing it’s O’Regan doing it...O’Regan is a phenomenal storyteller and performer, and all the myriad characters are instantly, utterly clear.”
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May 15th, 2017

"The insanity of war has been captured with bleak, quivering intensity...Morpurgo paints a livid portrait of a living hell, and the defiant ability to hold on to shreds of humanity even when mindless brutality seems the sensible option...With O'Regan superbly vulnerable and touching as Tommo. It's a powerhouse performance that requires as much technique as it does emotional talent...It should not be missed."
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