War Horse is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo adapted by Nick Stafford and is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.
"An extraordinary piece of theatre... guaranteed to move the heart" The Sunday Express
At the outbreak of World War one, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. he's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. but Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.
"Exhilarating - It makes you rejoice to be alive" The Times
Following His Dark Materials and Coram Boy, the National Theatre's new epic 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.
Please Note This production is suitable for 12 year olds and above.
"One of the most powerfully moving and imaginative productions of the year, whatever age you happen to be" The Daily Telegraph
"You sometimes wonder if we might become inured to the tragic horrors of the first world war, we've had them filmed, dramatised and fictionalised for us so many times. But Michael Morpurgo's celebrated children's novel War Horse, in this immensely skilful adaptation by Nick Stafford, conspires to bring us the reality of those four terrible years afresh, by seeing them through the eyes of a dumb but by no means stupid animal... War Horse only confirms the National's extraordinary new knack of turning children's literature into the finest drama. Stunning." The Sunday Times
"An astonishingly complete performance... War Horse has a huge heart, stirring music... and will have you sobbing all the way to the car park. Loved it" The Daily Mail
"A foal is born. The stiff-legged star walks gingerly across the Olivier stage, his head hanging down, too heavy for his long neck: his ears stand up like giant leaves; his long tail swishes across his back; his large eyes glow and glitter. In a triumph of theatricality, this beast that so quivers with life is entirely manufactured - and is seen to be so, even while he looks so tender. The equine heroes of War Horse, a heart-stopping staging of Michael Morpurgo's First World War story, are creations of the South African Handspring Puppet Company... War Horse will be one of the National's biggest ever hits: it is inventive, distinguished and it makes audiences cry. Nick Stafford has with great ingenuity remoulded the narrative that Morpurgo wrote for young readers 25 years ago, in which the griefs of the 1914-18 war are traced through the fate of horses sent to the Front." The Observer
"War Horse is pure animal magic... Thanks to the National, chldren's theatre is riding higher than ever" The Mail on Sunday
"This year's festive treat is War Horse, which offers a gritty, uncompromising account of how a young man and his horse fare on the Western Front during the First World War... Nick Stafford's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's classic children's novel makes for a fine, majestic and unforgettable piece of theatre, but I wouldn't regard it as suitable for any youngster under the age of 15. I have no doubt there are those who would say that children are a lot less shockable today than they used to be, but I wonder." The Sunday Telegraph
"The production achieves an epic scope and scale... thrilling" The London Evening Standard
War Horse in London is presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. It was originally presented at The National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in London where it previewed from 9 October 2007, opened on 17 October 2007 and closed on 14 February 2008. The production then returned the following year from 10 September 2008 to 18 March 2009. Warhorse transferred to the New London Theatre in the West End where it previewed from 28 March 2009 and opened on 3 April 2009.