166 Drury Lane, London WC2B5PW

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War Horse

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Closed March 12, 2016

The most moving and spectacular play in London

Sunday Express

Why See War Horse?

must end march 12th 2016!

The National Theatre's worldwide hit play is based on the celebrated novel by the Children's Laureate (2003-05) Michael Morpurgo. Actors work and interact with magnificent, life-sized animal puppets, created by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company. These remarkable creations are moulded out of steel, leather and even aircraft cables, and are operated by three people, one each controlling the head, front legs and hind quarters. The horse's naturalistic movements were devised by choreographer Toby Sedgwick, which won him the 2008 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography.

Since its premiere in 2007, War Horse has been seen by an estimated five million people across the globe. In 2011, it was adapted into a feature film by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Irvine, generating a new wave of interest in the play.

What is War Horse About?

At the outbreak of World War One, young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Caught up in enemy fire, fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving both British and German soldiers, and experiences peace on a French farm, before finding himself stranded in No Man's Land. Meanwhile, at home in England, Albert cannot forget Joey, and so illegally enlists in the army, embarking on a dangerous mission to France to bring him back home.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 28 March 2009

Opening night: 3 April 2009


War Horse is suitable for 10 year olds and above.

Run time

Two hours and 40 minutes including a 15-minute intermission

Cast and Creative


James Backway as Albert Narracot

Ken Bradshaw

Alasdair Craig

Harry De Moraville

Nick Figgis

Patrick Fleming

Keiran Flynn

Alan Francis

Colm Gormley

Dominic Hodson

Ian Houghton

Mark Jackson

Simon Jenkins

Kate Marlais

Tony McGeever

Jayne Mckenna

Chris Milford

Adam Henderson Scott

Alisdair Simpson

Simon Wolfe


Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo

Adapted by Nick Stafford

In association with Handspring Puppet Company

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris

Designer/Drawings - Rae Smith

Puppet Design and Fabrication - Basil Jones & Adrian Kohler

Lighting Design by Paule Constable

Director of Movement and Horse Choreography - Toby Sedgwick

Puppetry Directors - Basil Jones & Adrian Kohler

Video Design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for Fifty-Nine Productions Ltd

Music by Adrian Sutton

Songmaker - John Tams

Sound Designer - Christopher Shutt

Puppetry Consultant - Mervyn Millar

Associate Director - Alex Sims

Associate Puppetry Director - Finn Caldwell

Resident Director - Kathryn Ind

Puppetry Associate - Toby Olie

Movement & Horse Choreography Assistant - Robin Guiver

Music Director - Martin Lowe

Casting by Lucy Jenkins CDG & Sooki McShane CDG

Original Casting by Alastair Coomer CDG

Company Voice & Dialect Work - Jacquie Crago

Fight Director - Kate Waters

German and French Language Coach - Simon Scardifield

Production Photographer - Simon Annand


OLIVIER 2010 Nominations

Audience Award


Best Theatre Choreographer (Toby Sedgwick)

Best Set Design (Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company at the National Theatre Olivier)

Best Play
Best Director
Best lighting design
Best sound design

What we thought

uplifting Emotional EXTRAORDINARY

This is a show that is without fault

War Horse is an absolute triumph that anyone with even the remotest interest in theatre should see....

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Scarlet Fleetwood

Scarlet Fleetwood

What you thought

42 reviews, average rating: (4.7 Stars)

4.5 star rating

Sean B: “Simply incredible”

Beautiful production! Simply amazing! You have to see it to believe it.... more

Ray Spencer: “war horse”

An innovative inventive and incredible ensemble piece whose development... more

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