Theatre Review: War Horse (UK Tour)

The National Theatre’s epic production is based on the celebrated novel by the Children’s Laureate (2003-05) Michael Morpurgo. Actors working with magnificent, life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company lead us on a gripping journey through history.

Tour Schedule: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/war-horse-on-tour

Details

Saw it: 13 December 2013
Where: The Lowry, Salford
Cast: 5 stars
Show: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars

Background

War Horse is a children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo. It was first published in Great Britain by Kaye & Ward in 1982. The story recounts the experiences of Joey, a horse purchased by the Army for service in World War I France and the attempts of young Albert, his previous owner, to bring him safely home.
It formed the basis of both an award winning play (2007) and an acclaimed film (2011).

Review

War Horse is one of the most stunning productions I have ever seen. Never have I sat in a theatre where the audience was so enthralled. Not a sound could be heard from the beginning and then the applause at the end just kept going. Wow.

Given the amount of books I read it’s rather shameful to admit that I haven’t read Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, neither did I see the film. However this gave me the chance to see the production without any preconceived ideas. I can’t imagine that those who have read the book will be let down by National Theatre’s interpretation (my companion wasn’t) it’s just so brilliant.

All the cast are wonderful, there isn’t a weak link anywhere and the puppeteers are AMAZING. After a short while you forgot the horses aren’t real because… well – they come alive.

Also Lee Armstrong as Albert was perfect the night I saw it, as was Nisa Cole who played Emilie. The “Song Man” on the tour is Bob Fox who I loved.

I only have praise for this production, it will stay with me for a long time. Go see it.

If you can’t get to a theatre the National Theatre Live is screening War Horse on the 27 February 2014 around the world, details here: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/9460-war-horse

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One thought on “Theatre Review: War Horse (UK Tour)

  1. A well written review.

    I went to the national touring production for the last day at The Lowry and it was as enjoyable and thought provoking as the two times that I’ve seen it at the New London Theatre.

    As I’ve seen it live, I won’t be seeing it at the cinema, but I have heard that The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time is going to be shown at my local Cineworld, so I’m hoping to go.

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