The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

War and Peace

By Tolstoy
Adapted by Helen Edmundson
Directed by Steve Thompson
Musical Director Rob Wallace
18th – 27th January 2024 at 8:00pm

Duration: Each part is approx. 2hrs including one interval.

Adapted from one of the greatest novels of all time.

Remarkable… Unmissable… Triumphant!

The Daily Telegraph

Presented in two-parts on different evenings with a FULL Part 1 & 2 run on Saturday 20th. There is a discount when booking for both parts.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd.

Napoleon marches east across Europe, staining the map with blood…

Wounded at the battle of Austerlitz, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky returns home to his family to be greeted by tragedy – his wife has died giving birth to their son. Andrei retreats from the world, a broken man, but… at a ball in St Petersburg he meets the captivating young Natasha Rostova and so begins one of the greatest love stories of all time. They begin a secret engagement, planning to marry in a year, but at the opera one evening Natasha meets the cruel and amoral Anatole Kuragin who seduces her, and she breaks off her engagement to Andrei. Kuragin, it transpires, has a wife already: Natasha’s reputation is ruined. Finally, she and Andrei are reunited after the battle of Borodino: as he lies dying she begs his forgiveness…

Andrei’s sister Maria, a shy and devout young heiress, is pursued by unscrupulous fortune-hunters. Instead she devotes her life to bringing up her nephew, but as they flee from the marauding French army, she begins an affair with a young Russian officer – Natasha’s brother Nikolai. Meanwhile, Pierre Bezukhov, Andrei’s best friend, is tricked into a sham marriage with Hélène, Anatole’s beautiful but ruthless sister. She is having multiple sexual affairs behind his back (including, it is rumoured, with her own brother), forcing Pierre to fight a duel to defend his honour…


Directed by
Steve Thompson
Musical Director
Rob Wallace


General Kutuzov/Bazdeyev
Anna Pavlovna/French Officer
Prince Vasili/Beausset
Countess Rostov/Russian Officer
Maria Dmitrievna/Theodosia
Count Rostov/Karatev
The Attendant
Prince Bolksonsky/Dolohov
Mademosielle Bourienne/French Aide
Little Nikolai

In addition to the above, the Cast will play other multiple roles.

We would like to thank CoPs and HDOS Hertford for the loan of chairs and pistols, Veronika Baieva and her mother for their assistance with song translations, and Herts Players for the loan of some costumes.

Production PHOTOS

(Click image to enlarge)


Remarkable… Unmissable… Triumphant!

The Daily Telegraph

I found myself swept up by Tolstoy’s glorious humanity… stage pictures that melt into each other like snowflakes.

The Guardian

A vibrant, involving immediacy… the production shines.

The Times


Opening 28th May
By John Finnemore
Opening 13th June
By Mary Chase



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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

War and Peace

We acknowledge the historical context of the novel War and Peace and its adaptations and are committed to ensuring that our production does not perpetuate harmful stereotypes or prejudices, while also aiming to preserve the original intentions of the author and afford ourselves space for creativeness and artistic interpretation. The playwright does not specify any casting characteristic such as race or gender as crucial to the narrative of the story. Our adaptation of the novel will be performed by a mixed ensemble cast, and we welcome actors of all ages, ethnicities and genders to create a re-imagining of the story that’s both respectful and authentic.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm