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Lincoln Center, 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023

WAR HORSE

Ended 6 Jan 2013 after 21 months

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Tony Winner

Tony Winner

Nothing could replicate the specific thrill of watching Joey take on substance and soul, out of disparate artificial parts, before our eyes.

Ben Brantley, New York Times

Closed 6 Jan 2013

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Review of London Production (2009)

After seeing War Horse I was asked how it ranks amongst the theatrical experiences I've seen in the past few years. My response - 'I'm not sure, but its certainly in the top one'.

This is a production that leaves you in no doubt that you've seen the art of live theatre at its world class best, both in terms of the creative team behind the scenes and the performers on stage.

The story line itself is poignant with the obvious heartache of World War I. But more telling than that was the family relationships at the heart of the drama. Brothers at war with each other, husband and wife fighting to survive, and father and son estranged. The unifying harmony in this story of physical and emotional carnage being a horse, Joey.

We first meet Joey as a foal at the opening of the show and the audience is introduced to the Handspring Puppet Company's creation of this life sized horse puppet made of cane, bent on to plywood and held together with twine, covered in a translucent fabric.

But, don't be fooled. The exquisite performance of the team that control Joey establishes the foal as a living character to which the audience immediately bonds as he takes his journey through life and through the trials and trenches of northern France.

The staging of the performance compels belief and the attention to period detail enriches, particularly the hauntingly evocative music. The key moments of theatrical stage craft are delivered with impact but without an overly heavy hand.

As the interval arrives the spell in which the audience is held is hardly broken as the wonderment of what you've just seen carries you back to the auditorium. Never have I seen an audience that keen to be seated and ready to see what happens next in this epic tale.

The second half brings tears of heartbreak and joy. At its heart this is a truly uplifting story, with the depiction of characters caught up in war on both sides of no-man's land being equally human.

If you can only see one show in London's West End - then this is the one to see. If you're planning your time for more than one, see this one last, otherwise the rest will pale in comparison.

OUR NOTES FOR THE SHOW
War Horse is suitable for audiences aged 10 and upwards. There is some mild profanity and a fair few gunshots.


 

WHAT WE SAY

Review of London Production (2009)

After seeing War Horse I was asked how it ranks amongst the theatrical experiences I've seen in the past few years. My response... more »

What You Say

11 reviews, average rating: (4.5 Stars)

Nigel: “Absolutely Brilliant”

I saw the London production a few months ago and it is by some distance one... more

Eden: “Brilliant”

I saw this show in London last year and it is close to perfect theatre - ex... more

Suzy Kew: “A Play For Your Bucket List”

The NY production is on a par with the one I saw in London in 2009. Astound... more

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