Theatre preview – War Horse returns
Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Wed 18 Apr – Sat 12 May 2018
The Festival Theatre Edinburgh is delighted to welcome back the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse for a three-week run following its sell-out success in 2014.
‘My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head. But I remember well enough the day of the horse sale. The terror of stayed with me all my life.’
Thus opens the first person/horse narrative in Michael Morpurgo’s modest but profoundly poignant modern classic. It is the enchanting life-size puppetry magic of Joey’s presence on stage that so empathically recreates the narrative bond that drives the novel’s compelling plot, apocalyptic setting and convincing characterisation. For Joey, the terrors of the horse sale were soon to pale in to insignificance.
War Horse, which has been seen by over seven million people worldwide, completed its record-breaking eight year London run at the New London Theatre on 12 March 2016. It has won 25 awards including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship, about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of the First World War is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history. It features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage.
There is an affectionate anecdote attributed to Michael Morpurgo concerning a school-party staying at his farm and of one of their boys being reclusive and uncommunicative. His absence being noticed, Morpogo eventually discovered him talking to one of the horses, they had barely heard him speak ever before. It was this inspirational seed that lent his fertile mind into nurturing the inseparable bond between the young farm-hand Albert and the allegorical War Horse to be – Joey.