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Years 7 & 8 at War Horse

Posted: 9th May 2014 | Category: Year 7, Year 8

On 1st May, Years 7 & 8 enjoyed a trip to New London Theatre to see War Horse.

Read a review by Neill di Lucia:

War Horse Review
By Neill di Lucia

War Horse is the moving tale of a boy and his pet horse who are cruelly separated because of the First World War. The boy then joined the army to find his lost horse: do you think that a boy’s love is enough to bring them both back together?

Since the show began in 2007 it has been loved by everyone who has gone to see it. There has always been excitement about Nick Stafford’s adaptation of War Horse which has only increased following Steven Spielberg’s movie. Five years have passed since Albert and his horse Joey graced London’s stages, but both man and horse are still galloping strong in what I truly believe to be the best piece of true theatre currently playing on London’s West End.

The animal puppets were truly amazing. Developed by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, it was what brought the show alive. What I wasn’t expecting was the way the actors manipulated and moved them to bring them to life, and I mean really to life! The way they managed to make Joey breathe as he walked, the way they shook his tail, twitched his ears and bucked his legs; it was as if there was a real horse galloping around on stage. Of course it wasn’t all about the horse puppets; there was also a fantastic goose that amazed the audience every time he made an appearance.

Aside from the animals, human characters were expertly delivered onstage and I loved the level of likeability that everyone had for the role of the German officer. In many British productions discussing war there has been a tendency to be one sided, but War Horse perfectly demonstrates that on the front-line there are no ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies,’ just human beings forced into horrific situations.

There is nothing about this production that wasn’t perfectly acted; the paper-like cloud that floated above the stage was reflective of a torn page: at one point it was Captain Nicholls’ sketch book, it continued to change throughout the production as animations of snowfall and galloping horses were projected onto the white space, possibly relating Albert’s dreams when he was a kid.

In my opinion War Horse was the best production I have seen. You could feel everything that was going on, on stage. By the end I had forgotten Joey was not actually a real horse: the noises he made, his ears twitching and the unnoticed strange breathing movement.

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