BWW WEST END: WAR HORSE Opens in the West End
War Horse, the hugely acclaimed, award-winning production based on Michael Morpurgo's novel, adapted by Nick Stafford, opened at the New London Theatre on Friday April 3rd, due to overwhelming demand. The West End run followed the production's second sell-out season at The National Theatre which finished on 18 March.
Our West End video partners, Reelkandi.tv were there to bring you all the excitement of Opening Night - right here on BWW TV!
War Horse won the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for the set design by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company; Toby Sedgwick received an Olivier Award for his choreography.
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.
Michael Morpurgo was Children's Laureate from 2003-05. The author of over 100 books, his novels include The Wreck of the Zanzibar (Whitbread Children's Novel Award), The Butterfly Lion (Smarties Prize and Writers' Guild Award), Kensuke's Kingdom, Private Peaceful (both of which received the Children's Book Award), The War of Jenkin's Ear and Why the Whales Came.
Nick Stafford's play Battle Royal was seen at the NT in 1999; his other plays include Katherine Desouza (Birmingham Rep), Love Me Tonight (Hampstead), Luminosity (RSC) and The Snow Queen (Young Vic).
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris are Associate Directors of the NT. Marianne Elliott has directed Pillars of the Community, Thérèse Raquin, Saint Joan and Harper Regan at the National, where next year her productions will include Mrs Affleck and All's Well That Ends Well. Formerly Artistic Director of BAC, where he directed numerous productions, Tom Morris developed Coram Boy and co-adapted A Matter of Life and Death for the NT; he is currently co-directing (with Felix Barrett) Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
Handspring Puppet Company was founded in Cape Town in 1981 by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler. Several of their productions have toured internationally, including Starbrites, Woyzeck on the Highveld and Ubu and the Truth Commission. Their most recent production, Tall Horse, the story of a captured giraffe, toured to America and Germany in 2005.
War Horse is designed by Rae Smith, with puppet design and fabrication by Adrian Kohler, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick; the puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Christopher Shutt, and production associate Mervyn Millar.