War Horse is one of those shows that I’ve always been intrigued by, but the tickets have always been pretty expensive so I’ve never bothered. However, when my friend offered me a spare ticket to go with her to see the tour at the ATG Sunderland Empire I jumped at the chance.
War Horse is an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book of the same name and it tells the story of a young farm boy; Albert, who’s Dad buys a riding horse they can’t afford to beat his brother in an auction. Albert is tasked with looking after the young horse until it is old enough to be sold. Albert calls the horse Joey and forms a special friendship with him.
As World War I begins, soldiers come to the village to ask for volunteers and to buy any horses they could use. Albert’s Dad sells Joey to the cavalry leaving Albert heart broken. The story then goes on to portray Joey’s journey at war, and Albert’s attempts to find him.
Although it is a play, there is some musical interlude provided which I really enjoyed as I felt like it made it more approachable than a full serious play. The puppets used for the horses were absolutely amazing too; although I did find myself distracted at times by the people moving them. The time that must’ve been spent choreographing the horses to move so realistically is amazing. The noises the cast make to mimic the sound of horses is great too. You do end up forgetting they aren’t real horses.
I’m definitely glad I saw the play. Although I probably wouldn’t feel the need to see it again anytime soon; plus it was pretty long…