Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:56

War Horse: Theatre In Review

The National Theatre of Great Britain's hit production 'War Horse', based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, is a truly spectacular show.

'War Horse' tells the story of Joey, the beloved horse of a boy called Albert. Joey is sold by his father to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I and shipped to France and is taken on a journey, serving on both sides before finding himself trapped alone in no-man's land. But back home, Albert cannot forget his horse and, even though not officially old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find Joey and bring him back safely. With such an emotionally wrenching storyline and with the added element of war, the simplicity of the set was an excellent choice. Changes occurred through projection screens, fog and lighting and was very effective allowing the story to flow without interruption.

The lighting and the deafening sounds of war, as well as the force of the images on the screen, made the experience feel hyper real and I felt like I was in the war zone and alongside Joey ploughing the field. I cried when Joey was sent to war. I cried when Joey and Albert were united. So the moments of light comic banter provided a welcome relief.

I also want to make special mention of the  horsemen puppeteers who became the horse, who made me forget that the horses were puppets. Through their body movements, they captured every detail of a horse’s movement — every characteristic and subtle nuance of each horse from the flickering of the ears, the stance, the head movements, the tapping of the foot to the feelings pain when they were injured or exhausted. A truly remarkable and uplifting experience. Do not miss this.

'War Horse' is at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC until August 4.

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