Wilmas Rating ****
War Horse is one of those plays that everyone needs to see (and most people surely have by now). It transferred to the New London Theatre from the National in 2009 after a 2 year run and has been delighting audiences night after night ever since.
As usual I galloped straight to the bar and was horrified at paying £8.40 for a glass of wine (although I have paid more in some theatres). After being assured the cost included a ride on a unicorn I calmed down and took my seat (savouring every sip)!
War Horse is based on the wonderful 1982 book my Michael Morpurgo which tells the story of a boy (Albert), his horse (Joey) and then bond they share together. The book is told from the horses perspective and the play from a more general view, giving a nice contrast and building up a fuller picture to the story.
When Joey the horse is sold to the army, Albert runs away from home to find his beloved friend. War Horse is a lovely story but quite draining because of the death and war that make up the crux of the show.
The life size animals in the play are operated by puppeteers but after a few minutes you forget they are there and you believe there are real life horses on stage (and a very adorable duck).
As the show is about a boy going off to war in Germany, it is expected that there be a spattering of languages in the piece. French and German and largely used to emphasise the characters are at war but at times the dialogue goes on for so long that the audience start to get a little restless that they can’t understand the conversation happening. Perhaps the choice to have this in the play is to demonstrate art is art and can be understood in any language (like Opera) but I did feel at times it went on a little long.
War Horse is unlike any other show in the west end. A real spectacle and something that everyone should see. I suggest you all trot off to buy tickets right away!