War Horse puppetry magic strides the stage from 10 January 2020 for a short season

Based on the beloved 1982 novel by children’s specialist Michael Morpurgo, the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Tony Award®-winning production of War Horse is returning to Australia January 2020 on a thundering national tour of Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. You’ll know it from the eye-popping and world renowned life-size horse puppetry from South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company.

A heart-rending story of friendship and loyalty, it centres round the bond between a rural farmboy and the bought-at-auction foal he trains set against the backdrop of war, and has performed at Southbank, the West End, and on Broadway. American Steven Spielberg directed a film version of the story in 2011. It was last here in 2013.

A winner of more than 25 International awards, including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway, War Horse has been seen by more than 8 million people worldwide and is brought Down Under by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and The National Theatre.War Horse Puppetry

Set in Devon, England, at the outbreak of WWI, a farm boy’s beloved horse, Joey, is sold by his father to the cavalry and shipped to France. Embarking on an epic odyssey, young Albert, fighting on both sides, sets off on a treacherous journey to find him and bring him home. The twists and turns of intergenerational brother and son relationships impels the drama forward with a finish behind enermy lines in a British internment camp of equal charm to that of strapper Tommy Woodcock’s for his racehorse charge, Phar Lap, who loved and cared for him to the end. Nursing battle scars in a war hospice, the lost soldier miraculously discovers his broken horse and the two recover in a joint convalescence before crossing the Channel to home. 

Adapted from a best-selling 1982 story by Michael Morpurgo (who runs England’s Farms For City Children charity), the play premiered in 2007, adapted for the stage by Nick Price from the children’s book, and directed by Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris. Born in this unique form, it starred unforgettable life-size horse puppets with choreography from Toby Sedgewick that brings galloping horses to life on stage through the skilled manipulation of many unseen hands. 

This mammoth production features video projections and stirring songs from John Tams, Adrian Sutton, and Christopher Shutt on sound production, with the International Tour run by a boutique team of directors and puppetry experts escorting 34 performers to our shores.

A captivating story with mind-blowing artistry, sound, and puppetry make this an otherworldly theatrical experience not to be missed. Come to the theatre to witness what all the noise was about in this special return season.

Book early through Ticketmaster to ensure your seat close to the battlefield and watch those hoof prints mark your own heart.

– Sarah Wallace

is the Theatre Specialist for The Plus Ones, Melbourne.  A performing arts and English literature graduate of VCA, UOM and Deakin Universities, she has a flair for bold, non-traditional performance platforms. An active contributor to The Melbourne Shakespeare Society, on the street, or in the box seat, she is always looking for quality works that push the envelope.

War Horse runs from 10 January 2020, 7.30pm Tuesday- Saturday, 2pm Saturday,1pm Wednesday/Sunday, (2hrs 45 mins with 20 mins interval) at The Regent Theatre. Book tickets here. 

Contains strobe lighting, loud sounds FX, gunfire and flashing lights. Suitable for ages 10+.

The venue is accessible at time of booking. 

Images: Various.

Disclaimer: This production is represented by TS Publicity.