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War Horse transfers to New London Theatre

Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE NATIONAL Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse, which is currently playing in the Olivier Theatre until March 18, will transfer to the New London Theatre where it opens on April 3, 2009 (previews from March 28).

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse is the story of Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse who, at the outbreak of World War One, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France.

Soon, Joey is caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

War Horse, which uses life-size puppets to portray horses, children and other selected characters, won the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for Rae Smith and the Handspring Puppet Company’s set design. Toby Sedgwick also received an Olivier Award for choreography.

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and presented in association with the Handspring Puppet Company, which was founded in Cape Town in 1981 by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler. Several of their productions have toured internationally, including Starbrites, Woyzeck on the Highveld and Ubu and the Truth Commission. Their most recent production, Tall Horse, the story of a captured giraffe, toured to America and Germany in 2005.

Both Elliott and Morris are Associate Directors of the National Theatre where Elliott’s credits include Pillars of the Community, Thérèse Raquin, Saint Joan and Harper Regan, as well as the forthcoming Mrs Affleck and All’s Well That Ends Well

Morris, former Artistic Director of BAC, developed Coram Boy and co-adapted A Matter of Life and Death for the National, where he is currently co-directing (with Felix Barrett) Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

Morpurgo, Children’s Laureate from 2003-05, is the author of over 100 books. They include The Wreck of the Zanzibar (Whitbread Children’s Novel Award); The Butterfly Lion (Smarties Prize and Writers’ Guild Award); Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful (both of which received the Children’s Book Award); The War of Jenkin’s Ear and Why the Whales Came.

Stafford’s plays include Katherine Desouza (Birmingham Rep), Love Me Tonight (Hampstead Theatre), Luminosity (RSC), The Snow Queen (Young Vic) and Battle Royal (National Theatre in 1999).

War Horse premiered at the National Theatre in October 2007 and returned for a second sell-out run this autumn.

War Horse is initially booking at the New London Theatre until September 26, 2009.

Tickets (on sale from today, December 18): £45, £35, £25, £15 – Monday to Thursday; £47.50, £37.50, £25, £15 – Friday and Saturday. Under-18s: £10 off top 2 prices (Monday to Thursday). Groups: £5 off top price (Monday to Thursday).

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Imagine This is currently playing at the New London Theatre.
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