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All-Canadian Cast Announced for Toronto WAR HORSE Premiere

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The National Theatre of Great Britain, National Angels, Bob Boyett and David Mirvish today announced the all-Canadian cast of the Canadian premiere production of The National Theatre of Great Britain production WAR HORSE.

Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford in association with Handspring Puppet Company, WAR HORSE begins performances at The Princess of Wales Theatre on February 10. Opening night is February 28, 2012.

The cast of this Olivier and Tony Award-winning play brings together actors from across Canada. There are exciting newcomers, and actors who have worked on major stages and considered to be among the best in the country.

In the starring role of Albert, the young man who raises his horse Joey, is Alex Furber, a recent graduate of The National Theatre School.

Brad Rudy, who has spent many seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, plays Ted Narracott, Albert's father.

Tamara Bernier-Evans, a star of both musical theatre (Mamma Mia!) and classical theatre (Stratford Festival) plays Rose Narracott, Albert's mother.

Richard McMillan, recognized as one of Canada's leading actors (The Boys in the Photograph, The Lion King, Stratford Festival), stars as Albert's uncle and Ted's rival, Arthur Narracott.

Steven Yaffe plays Billy Narracott, Arthur's son and Albert's cousin.

Shaw Festival star Patrick Galligan plays German soldier Friedrich Muller.

Melanie Doane, Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter performs the role of Song Person #1, singing an array of folksongs throughout the show. Tatjana Cornij, performs the role of Song Person #2.

The horses, Joey and Topthorn are major characters in WAR HORSE and are each portrayed on stage by three actors who operate the brilliantly designed puppets, created by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company. The puppets are life-size, lightweight and exceptionally strong so that an actor could ride them. Each horse's skeletal frame is made of cane and detailed with wood, elastic, leather and wire.

Each horse has three operators - one who is outside the puppet (called the Head) and two who are inside (called the Heart and the Hind).

Joey, as a foal is played by Mairi Babb, Patrick Kwok-Choon, and Rahnuma Panthaky.

Joey and Topthorn, as adults, are played by: Christy Adamson, Brad Cook, Adam Cunningham, Caden Douglas, James Retter Duncan, Troy Feldman, Bryan Hindle, Grant Landry, Ryan Reid, Sean Robertson, Brendan Rowland and Dayna Tietzen

The ensemble includes: Neil Foster, Bruce Godfree, Ryan Hollyman, Cara Hunter, David Hurwitz, Araya Mengesha, Brendan Murray, Brian Paul, Geoffrey Pounsett, Dylan Roberts, and Brendan Wall.

England,1914. As World War I begins, 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 journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in No Man's Land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, though not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.

Winner of 6 Tony Awards® 2011, Outer Critic's Circle Awards 2011, Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a production of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized puppets created by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to life on the stage.

The production is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris; sets, costumes & drawings by Rae Smith; puppet design, fabrication and direction by Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company; lighting by Paule Constable; director of movement & horse sequences by Toby Sedgwick; animation & projection design by 59 Productions; music by Adrian Sutton; songmaker John Tams and sound by Christopher Sutt.

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