NEWS: Barn Theatre Announces 2020 Theatre Recovery Season

The Barn Theatre has announced their full theatre recovery season for 2020 with two new productions being announced to join the current production of Private Peaceful, which is currently running until 4 October. 

The season, which will feature smaller cast sizes as well as a reduced capacity in the auditorium, follows the postponement of the Barn’s original 2020 Built by Barn Season earlier this year. The theatre intends to reschedule the postponed productions to 2021 with new dates being announced in due course.

The Theatre Recovery Season will consist of a two-hand actor-musician production of Simon Reade’s adaptation of Private Peaceful (10 to 27 September), a new revival production of Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me A Little (16 October to 8 November) and the world debut of Alan Pollock’s new stage adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (21 November to 3 January 2020).

The Barn Theatre have also recently announced that they will be co-producing the world debut of Henry Filloux-Bennett’s new digital play adaptation of Jonathon Coe’s What a Carve Up!, with the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Directed by Tamara Harvey, the digital production will run from 31 October – 29 November 2020.

Kirk Jameson will return to the Barn Theatre as a Director-in-Residence for the two newly announced productions. His previous directorial work with the Barn Theatre includes The World Goes ‘Round (co-produced by Piers Cottee-Jones) at the theatre’s first outdoor theatre festival BarnFest and the 2018 Built by Barn production of Stiles + Drewe’s Just So

“I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to produce this Theatre Recovery Season for the end of 2020. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our new safety procedures since we opened at the end of July for our first outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest, and again when we reopened last week for indoor theatre with Private Peaceful.”

Iwan Lewis, Artistic Director

For their re-opening, the Barn Theatre have implemented numerous procedures to ensure audience safety throughout their experience. The theatre runs at a reduced capacity with Perspex screens being placed between groups in a new seating layout which 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 continue for indoor theatrical performances. 

“We have had the seal of approval from Visit England to say that “We’re Good To Go” and we are confident that our audiences will experience the safest and most enjoyable return to live theatre. We are determined to bring back this year’s original programming in 2021 however we hope that our audiences love this new season we have worked hard to put together. Smaller shows are not a compromise on quality and this season will be a testament to that. In the words of Shakespeare, though she be but littleshe is fierce.

Iwan Lewis, Artistic Director

Customers with bookings for the 2020 Built by Barn Season will be contacted by the Barn Theatre’s box office team to arrange alternative dates when the dates for the postponed season are announced. The theatre kindly asks that customers do not call the box office directly at this time, the theatre will make contact with all customers as soon as dates are announced.


In the event that a show is unable to go ahead (such as a local lockdown), audience members will be contacted as soon as possible via email or phone. 

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, with press night on Tuesday 15 September.

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). 

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


The charming and bittersweet one-act musical revue, which follows two single strangers as they explore their secret, unshared fantasies as they are left alone in their studio apartments on a Saturday night, will run from 16 October to 8 November, with press night on 20 October. Conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the production will be directed by Kirk Jameson (Just So, Madagascar) with musical staging by Sam Spencer-Lane (The Last Five Years, Aspects of Love), set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly and musical direction by Arlene McNaught (SIX).

Marry Me A Little is produced by the Barn Theatre in association with Anthology Theatre. 


The digital production, which will be directed by Tamara Harvey (Home, I’m Darling), chronicles the events leading up to the ‘Winshaw Murders’. Filled with murder, mayhem and madness, the murder mystery turns a satirical eye on what it is like to be a member of one of the most corrupt, powerful and toxic families in the country.

Produced by the Barn Theatre, Lawrence Batley Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre, the murder mystery, based on the award-winning novel by Jonathan Coe, is written by Henry Filloux-Bennett (Nigel Slater’s Toast) and directed by Tamara Harvey (Home, I’m Darling). 

The play, which will be available internationally, will run from 31 October – 29 November 2020. Tickets can be purchased at with audience members receiving a screening link which will activate at their booked performance time for a 48-hour period. A premium option, consisting of a physical programme and pre-theatre dining recipe card, will be available for UK residents.


“Desperate not to miss bedtime, a man in a hotel room three thousand miles from home recreates his daughter’s favourite story: an epic tale of adventure, pirates, fairies – a crocodile with gigantic teeth! – and a little boy who refuses to grow old….”

The Christmas season will be filled with magic and a trip to Neverland with the world premiere of Alan Pollock’s new stage adaptation of the J. M. Barrie classic Peter Pan from 21 November 2020 to 3 January 2021 with press night on 24 November. The production is conceived and directed by Kirk Jameson with composition and musical arrangements by Nick Barstow (Rags, Just So), movement direction by Tosh Wanogho-Maud and set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly.

“Peter Pan” is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd

Tickets are now on general sale now for Private Peaceful, Marry Me A Little and What A Carve Up! Priority booking for Peter Pan are on sale for members from today with general sale from 25 September. Members also receive a 20% discount for preview performances of Marry Me A Little.