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Birmingham Hippodrome Welcomes National Theatre's WAR HORSE, Oct 17-Nov 9, 2013


It was announced today, 2 October 2012, that The National Theatre's award-winning production of War Horse begins a ten month, nine-venue tour of the UK and Ireland in the autumn of 2013. A highlight of Birmingham Hippodrome's exciting autumn season, War Horse performances run from Thursday 17 October to Saturday 9 November 2013, presented in partnership with Pertemps.

National Theatre Producer Chris Harper said: "We are delighted that our production of War Horse will soon be touring the UK and Ireland and we are particularly thrilled that the tour opens in Devon, where the play is set."

War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the English in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in no man's land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

War Horse is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is designed by Rae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by 59 Productions Ltd, song-making by John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome added: "War Horse is without a doubt one of the theatrical masterpieces of recent years, and will be a major highlight of our 2013 season. We are particularly pleased to be able to bring such a prestigious production to Birmingham in partnership with Pertemps who are kindly supporting our Stage Appeal with their generous financial support."

Tim Watts, chairman of Pertemps Network Group, said: "We are very proud to be working in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome for The National Theatre's tour of War Horse. This has been one of the most talked about theatre productions of recent times, and will be a truly exciting and popular event of the year. We want to play our part so those in the Midlands can enjoy it here in Birmingham. Like the Hippodrome, Pertemps has built a reputation for delivering exceptional levels of service and operates to the highest quality standards in every aspect. It was an easy choice to work in collaboration with the theatre."

Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books and was Children's Laureate from 2003 - 05. A feature film of War Horse, based on his 1982 novel and directed by Stephen Spielberg, was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2011.

War Horse is produced on tour by The National Theatre - www.warhorseonstage.com.

Tickets for War Horse go on general sale in January 2013.

Now in its fourth year in London's West End, War Horse consistently attracts sell-out houses at the New London Theatre. The Broadway production, which continues its run at the Lincoln Center until 6 January 2013, was the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play and a Special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet Company. The Canadian production opened to critical acclaim in Toronto in February 2012, while a North American tour began in Los Angeles in June 2012 and will visit 27 cities in its first year, with future productions planned for Australia and Berlin.

The National Theatre of Great Britain is dedicated to the constant revitalisation of the great traditions of the British stage and to expanding the horizons of audiences and artists alike. Founded in 1963, and established on the South Bank in London in 1976, The National Theatre strives to be a national centre of theatrical arts, central to the creative life of the country and unmatched in the world for scale, range of repertoire and audience reach. The National stages over 20 new productions each year in one of its three South Bank theatres - the Olivier, the Lyttelton and the Cottesloe – and transfers popular shows to the West End as well as touring productions around the UK and internationally. In 2011-12, the paying audience for National Theatre productions reached 2.3million people worldwide, through attendances on the South Bank, in the West End and internationally, on tour and through National Theatre Live, the digital broadcast of live performances to cinema screens all over the world.

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd is an independent, unsubsidised registered charity (No. 510842) with a volunteer Board of Trustees. It receives no public subsidy from Arts Council England or Birmingham City Council and welcomes an average 500,000 visitors annually making it the single most popular theatre in the UK, turning over around £20m. Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange are partner organizations based at the Hurst Street theatre, collaborating with the Hippodrome on a range of exciting projects, amongst them International Dance Festival Birmingham. During the last 30 years some of the biggest and most successful productions have been performed on Birmingham Hippodrome's stage including: Evita, the first ever tour of Blood Brothers, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Phantom of the Opera, MARY POPPINS, We Will Rock You and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry have also trod the boards including Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Barry Manilow, Joan Collins, John Barrowman, French and Saunders, Eddie Izzard and Brian Conley. Birmingham Hippodrome is home to the world's largest Pantomime and is the first English home of Welsh National Opera who perform all of their repertory at the theatre, the only venue outside of Wales to do so.

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