There was celebration at the New London Theatre this week as the critically acclaimed play War Horse completed its 2000th performance.
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What's it all about?
Who'd have thought the story of a young boy and his horse would gallop off with so many awards? But when you see War Horse, you'll understand why – it's an epic tale that packs an emotional punch while also astounding you with its technical skill.
You'll go to experience the moving story and come away marvelling at how the puppeteers managed to create such lifelike living, breathing, stamping stallions – and all without the aid of CGI.
However impressive Steven Spielberg’s film version may be, this is one occasion where stage trumps silver screen in terms of its sheer power to move and amaze.
What's the story?
You may have heard about the astonishing puppetry used in this show, but the incredibly moving story at its heart is what really transports you to another time and place.
With World War One looming, young Albert's beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry and shipped off to France. Albert is too young to enlist, but he can’t forget Joey, so he makes up his mind to embark on an epic mission to scour the churned up battlefields and barbed wire-strewn trenches in search of his old friend.
This atmospheric show will have you willing both to survive, while reminding you of the enduring power of friendship.
Who's in it?
Although the humans involved – and Albert in particular – give moving performances, the real star of the show here is Joey, the horse. And that's all thanks to the extraordinary talents of the three-strong team that brings him to life each night, many of whom have backgrounds in circus, dance and gymnastics.
He really is extraordinarily lifelike, and as his hooves stamp, ears twitch and tail flicks, you'll almost swear he really is alive. So convincing is Joey that the experts behind his creation, South Africa's renowned Handspring Puppet Company, have won a special Tony Award for Artistic Achievement.
Who is War Horse suitable for?
Your kids will watch transfixed by War Horse as huge steeds charge across the stage and the fields of the Somme are conjured before them. And if you’re a bit of a bookworm you’ll know you’re in safe hands with a story from former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo that’s fast becoming a classic.
Animal lovers (even the most exacting equine experts) will also be amazed at how true to life every movement seems. You’ll be impressed as two magnificent horses go head to head, but perhaps even more so when you notice, in a quieter moment, that Joey looks like he’s actually breathing.
Please note: Battle scenes may upset very young viewers.
Why book with us?
TheatrePeople.com is your online box office for War Horse tickets, and your one-stop theatre ticket shop for the best seats in the West End. Count on us to provide great service and great discount deals on theatre tickets for all of the plays, comedies and musicals on the London stage. We hope your trip to War Horse at the New London Theatre is a memorable one, and we look forward to welcoming you to Theatreland.
War Horse reviews - staff
This was the first time I have seen this show and I loved it. The story was truly moving and the actors did a great job, not to mention that the horse puppets are so life like.
From the moment we first meet “Joey” it is impossible not to get attached to this horse and not smile when his ears twitch or his tail shakes. It was so clever how the movement was totally portrayed by the actors working the various parts of the body. You really did forget that it was not a real animal onstage! The play does a good job of breaking up the emotional tension with humour.
This is definitely the most amazing play I have ever seen. After 15-20 minutes the horse becomes real! It is so well done. The music, acting, staging - brilliant!
WAR HORSE was just AMAZING!!!!!! The puppets were well created, and It was nice to see other puppet animals like the goose and the ravens too. The show was rich in emotion, and the music fit perfectly with the story.
Astonishing and heartwarming. The old fashioned puppet technology rivisited to give you a never seen before show ! pure theatre, no special effects.
The horses were very impressive. This show is great for anyone, its has a versatile audience, the comedy would suit everyone’s taste. Try and get a seat near the front to appreciate the technical movement of the horses!
War Horse reviews - critics
War Horse reviews - most recent customers
The show was intensely moving, wonderfully staged and totally absorbing. We loved every minute of it and time passed far to quickly. A great production, deservedly one of the top West End productions of our time.
FANTASTIC, you come to believe they are real horses and not puppets, they were amazing and the story beautiful.
Omg what a show, I think it helped having watched the dvd, I treated my mum for her birthday and she loved it, money well spent.
Excellent show, one of the best I've seen, will highly recommend .
Breathtakingly excellent, jaw droppingly good,totally amazing, could go on, and on, it is soooo good 100% valued entertainment.
I have been really looking forward to seeing War Horse on stage, and have therefore resisted watching the film or reading the book. And I am so glad I waited to see it live. We had great seats and enjoyed what is an amazing production. Because they are so cleverly manipulated, one forgets that the horses are only puppets!! Extrememly clever and a great story line. I would recommend anyone to go and see War Horse, and don't forget your tissues!!
Is anything more spine-tingling than hearing the audience murmur drop to a hush and seeing the house lights go down? Can anything beat the thrill of watching the actors emerge from the wings, ready to give the performance of a lifetime?
At TheatrePeople.com we love these moments more than anything, and we want you to enjoy your live theatre experience just as much.
To get you in the mood for your visit to War Horse, we’ve prepared this gorgeous gallery of images from the show for your perusal and pleasure. It’s a pre-show peek at the West End cast and key elements of the production that’s sure to increase your anticipation for the real thing.
These images are from the current production of War Horse at the New London Theatre. War Horse is the story of young Devon lad Albert Narracott and his beloved horse Joey, who is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France, where he ends up serving on both sides of the First World War. Both Albert and Joey embark on extraordinary journeys in their pursuit to find each other once more.
Joey is brought to life on stage by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, whose extraordinary puppetry skills make the life-size horse puppet appear as if it is really breathing, galloping and stamping, creating the totally convincing illusion that there is a real horse in front of you on the stage.
War Horse is based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, and has been adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford. Both the West End and Broadway productions are directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.
War Horse originally premiered at the National Theatre in 2007 before transferring to the West End in March 2009. It’s won a number of awards, including Olivier Awards for Best Set Design and Best Theatre Choreography.
Whether you’ve already booked your seats for War Horse through us or you’re still making up your mind, we hope this gallery gives you a feeling for the essence of the show. We know where we’d like to be next time the curtain goes up at the New London Theatre. Perhaps we’ll see you there.
The smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd is what theatre’s all about. It may be a cliché but we bet it’s true for you too. There’s nothing like being there. That said, we know that a trip to the theatre can be a big commitment in terms of preparation and travel.
Check out our video sampler of War Horse, currently playing at the New London Theatre in the West End. It can’t give you the in-the-moment, large-as-life buzz of the real deal. But it’s the best way to get a taste of War Horse before you book your seat.
It’s the story of young Albert Narracott and his best friend Joey, a horse. The two are torn apart when Joey is sold to the military during the terrible events of the First World War in 1914. Both Albert and Joey encounter the darkness and hardships of the conflict as they quest to be together again.
The play is a courageous drama that’s drawn particular attention for its state-of-the-art staging and touching narrative. The puppetry, provided by the Handspring Puppet Company, has been widely praised for creating magnificent and lifelike adaptations of horses on stage.
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris are the directors of War Horse, adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s book by of the same name by Nick Stafford. The show originally premiered in London in 2007 at the National Theatre.
We hope you enjoy this peek at the current London production of War Horse at the New London Theatre. For further information and to book a seat, click on the relevant section above or at the sides of this page.
Did You Know?
It was a chance encounter with a former soldier and the discovery of a painting of cavalry horses that sparked author Michael Morpurgo’s curiosity. What he learnt moved him and inspired War Horse: more than a million horses left England for the frontlines in World War One, but only about 65,000 came back. Many thousands of those that survived were sold off to butchers in France.
On a cheerier note, when the play first opened at the National Theatre, Morpurgo recalls how someone tantalisingly referred to as "the world's greatest actor" was heard to say: "That was the greatest anthem to peace I’ve ever seen."
Latecomers will not be admitted until 20 minutes into the first act.
2008 Laurence Olivier Awards
Best Set Design
Best Theatre Choreographer
2011 Tony Awards
Best Direction of a Play
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Best Sound Design of a Play
Special Tony Award (Handspring Puppet Company)
Theatre NewsWar Horse Celebrates 2000th Performance
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- 22nd Jan 2014
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- Glenn Rice
- 17th Oct 2013
- Posted By
- TheatrePeople.com Staff
- 30th Jan 2013