WAR HORSE Concludes North American Tour this Summer
The North American touring production of WAR HORSE will conclude this summer as the highest grossing and most attended touring non-musical play in US history, recouping its investment in the process. The tour, which opened in June 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, has been seen by over 1.1 million audience members to date and, by its conclusion, will have played 68 engagements and 749 performances. The tour's final stop will be a four-week run at Tokyo's Theatre Orb, marking the play's Asian debut.
"Broadening our audience has become a key goal for everyone at The National Theatre," said Nick Starr, Executive Director of The National Theatre. "It is tremendously rewarding that the popularity of War Horse has enabled us to bring this unique production to audiences around the globe."
Producer Bob Boyett added: "War Horse is one of those once-in-a-generation marvels, with a story at its core that has proved powerful to audiences everywhere. I am very grateful to the entire team behind the show, and to our co-producers for believing in this extraordinary piece of theatre and allowing us to give it a long and celebrated life in North America."
The winner of five 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play, WAR HORSE has been seen by more than 5 million audience members worldwide and is currently playing in London's West End, Germany, Holland, on tour in the UK and Ireland, and on the North American Tour. The original West End production was screened to cinemas in over 31 countries through the National Theatre's NT Live program earlier this year.
Hailed by The New York Times as "theatrical magic," WAR HORSE is the powerful story of young Albert's beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. In a tale the New York Daily News calls "spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate," Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man's land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. What follows is a heartwarming tale of loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time.
The tour of WAR HORSE, which was adapted from the book by Morpurgo by Nick Stafford, is directed by Bijan Sheibani based on the original Tony Award-winning direction by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets, which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.
In addition to Best Play, WAR HORSE received Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Rae Smith), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable), and Best Sound Design of a Play (Christopher Shutt). A Special Tony Award was given to Handspring Puppet Company for their integral work on the production.
WAR HORSE received its World Premiere in a limited engagement at the National's Olivier Theatre in 2007. The play returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from in 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End's New London Theatre in Spring 2009 where it continues to play an open-ended run. The American premiere was in spring 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York's Lincoln Center.
The lead producers of the North American Tour of WAR HORSE are Bob Boyett and the National Theatre of Great Britain.