War Horse @ New London Theatre
By Simona Georgieva
2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission
‘War Horse’ was written by Nick Stafford and based on the successful and bestselling novel by Michael Morpurgo. The show premiered on the 17th of October 2007, in the Olivier Theatre, London. War Horse, also produced in Berlin and translated to German, has been showcased across the globe, performed in countries such as South Africa, Canada, Australia, USA and the Netherlands.
This is a remarkable production, created by Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott, which tells the story of a First World War horse named Joey, owned by Albert a young boy, who will enlist illegally to the army as he is only 16 years old. He then goes to France and attempts anything to be reunited with his beloved horse after he was sold by his father (Ted) to the cavalry division of the British army and from there, shipped to France.
The set was amazing, it takes you back in time, with the astonishing costumes of the soldiers from the World War I era convincingly brought to life. Breathtaking lifesize puppets, controlled by great actors, their magnificent acting allowing you to engage with the story and understand it through the eyes of the horse (Joey). The sound was impressive and live music and singing was used between the scenes to dramatic effect. I really loved the lighting and the element of the smoke effects, also. The big screen on the stage, which was used to show real scenes of fire and war, contributed to the atmosphere and sensation that the actors instilled.
At one point I was holding back my tears and tried not to cry, because the acting and production were so good and professional that it evokes real emotion, a rollercoaster ride.