War Horse – Theatre Review

Pure Theatre That’s Heartbreaking and Uplifting

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

National Theatre production of War Horse reviewed by Paul Seeven Lewis of One Minute Theatre Reviews
National Theatre production of War Horse

If, like me, your first experience of professional theatre was a puppet show, you may be surprised that a story for children featuring puppets should be a huge theatrical hit.

Don’t let anything you’ve seen before put you off. The quality of the puppets in the National Theatre production of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse is extraordinary, a world away from Sooty with Harry Corbett. In the hands of their expert operators, the wooden frames are capable of the most subtle and realistic movements. Using the power of the imagination, it is pure theatre. I would recommend getting a seat close to the stage in order to catch all the detail.

Near the front, you’ll also feel right in the middle of the frightening battle scenes which, partly thanks to Rae Smith‘s imaginative design and Paule Constable‘s dramatic lighting, create the horror and chaos of war before your eyes.

The direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris and the script by Nick Stafford deserve credit for turning Morpurgo’s brilliant story, which was written from a horse’s point of view with children in mind, into a tale of love, courage and hope that resonates with all ages.

While telling the story of a farm animal enlisted by the army to take part in the First World War and his owner’s attempts to find him, it is also the tale of the common humanity of the people who were forced to fight each other.

Before we are transported to France, we experience wonderful heartwarming scenes conjuring up the pre-war age of a countryside where working animals were at the heart of farming.

War Horse is uplifting at times and, at others, heartbreaking. Make sure you take a hankie.

War Horse is touring the UK until autumn 2019. Here are some dates-

Glasgow SEC
15 January – 2 February 2019
Book tickets for Glasgow SEC

Sunderland Empire
06 February – 23 February 2019
Book tickets for Sunderland Empire

Canterbury Marlowe Theatre
27 February – 16 March 2019
Book tickets for Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

Stoke-on-Trent, Regent Theatre
27 March – 6 April 2019
Book tickets for Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre
10 – 27 April 2019
Book tickets for Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong
10 – 26 May 2019
Book tickets for Lyric Theatre

Auckland New Zealand, Civic Theatre
21 – 30 June 2019
Book tickets for Auckland Civic Theatre

Liverpool Empire 
31 July – 17 August 2019
Book tickets for Liverpool Empire 

New Theatre, Oxford
22 August – 7 September 2019
Book tickets for New Theatre Oxford 

Curve, Leicester 
18 September – 12 October 2019
Book tickets for Curve

More details at www.warhorseonstage.com

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