Sunday, 19 September 2010

War Horse

Poster Of Amazing Production

In Nick Stafford’s stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s book 'War Horse', young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. (This interestingly became the fate of many horses in the UK and all either died in the battles or were left there at the end of the war and often died due to starvation or by being caught up in the miles and miles of barbed wire that surrounded the battlefields and they then died a miserable death). Unable to forget Joey and still too young to enlist, Albert embarks on a dangerous mission to find the horse and bring him home.

On stage, horses, children and other  characters are brought to life by life-sized puppets created by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for South African puppet company  Handspring.  The puppets, and set designs by Rae Smith, earned War Horse Best Design prizes at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier awards.

This production is truly inspiring. If someone told me that puppets and a children's book could be really interesting theatre, then I would have thought that they were completely bonkers ... but ... it is really, really amazing. All adults and children in the audience were truly mesmerized throughout the production. It was so well staged that after a while you completely forgot that you were watching puppets as the animals became truly alive - it is so very clever! Do go if you get the chance and do read the book too as it is so very well written and suitable for all readers of any age.

Book Cover

Poster With Imaginative Puppetry
Sneaky Peak At Stage Production
Another Sneaky Peak At Stage Production

Obviously no photos were allowed!  Do see War Horse at  The New London Theatre.


  1. I loved the book when I read it to my class at school, and I'm longing to see the stage production. We're hoping to spend a week next year, parking our camper van in a site in Surrey and going up to town each day to visit art galleries and see some shows.

  2. I kept meaning to get to see this at the National but I'm not very good at organising myself at the moment. Everyone I know who has seen it loved it.


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