War Horse, a play based on a 1982 children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, depicts the tragedy of World War I through the life story of a horse named Joey. Joey is sold to a cavalry regiment to help fight the war. Not long after, he is won at an auction by a perpetually drunk man named Ted. Ted’s son, Albert, quickly becomes smitten with the horse. Albert later joins the war effort in order to find his beloved horse, and the story, told from Joey’s point of view, is heavy in a sentimentality that emphasizes the cruelty and tragedy of war for those who are dragged into it.
On stage, Joey comes to life through the masterful work of the Handspring Puppet Company. But don’t let the word puppet mislead you—put all thoughts of sock puppets and silly costumes out of your head, because Joey is a life-sized marvel of engineering and ingenuity. A reviewer for the New York Times explains that “it is how Joey is summoned into being, along with an assortment of other animals, that gives this production its ineffably theatrical magic,” touting the “specific thrill of watching Joey take on substance and soul, out of disparate artificial parts, before our eyes.”
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War Horse premiered off-West End in 2007 in London, England and has since enjoyed runs on West End and on Broadway here in the United States. The play brings Morpurgo’s children’s novel to life in a way that touches adults of all ages. Whether you have read the book or seen Steven Spielberg’s recent film that was also based on it, the stage adaptation War Horse is certainly worth seeing. Get discounted tickets to War Horse on ScoreBig.com !