At the New London Theatre, the home of Michael Morpurgo’s celebrated War Horse, the National Theatre’s acclaimed stage production recently extended bookings for the West End production to 13th February 2016. In its eighth year, and having now been seen by over 6 million worldwide, a new cast of 26 actors and 12 puppeteers joined the company this month led by the show’s equine star Joey.
War Horse recently completed sell-out dates in South Africa visiting Johannesburg and Cape Town and concluded a record-breaking extensive UK national tour earlier this year in Bristol. A Chinese-language production will open in autumn 2015 at the National Theatre of China’s theatre in Beijing and will then tour across China.
At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon 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.
The new West End cast comprises James Backway (Albert Narracott), Phillip Bertioli (Joey/Topthorn Heart), Ken Bradshaw (Priest/Gefreiter Karl), Adrian Christopher (Topthorn Head), Matthew Churcher (Joey/Topthorn Hind), Clare Louise Connolly (Baby Joey/Emilie), Alasdair Craig (Friedrich Muller), Harry De Moraville (Thomas Bone), Drew Dillon (Goose/Klebb), James Duncan (Joey/Topthorn Head), Nick Figgis (Dr Schweyk/Vet Martin), Patrick Fleming (Rudi), Keiran Flynn (Sergeant Fine/Col Strauss), Alan Francis (Sergeant Thunder), Colm Gormley (Ted), Dominic Hodson (Captain Nicholls), Ian Houghton (Sergeant Allan/Manfred), Mark Jackson (Captain Stewart), Simon Jenkins (Billy Narracott/Ludwig), Jamie Lee-Morgan (Joey Head), Nyron Levy (Topthorn Heart), Kate Marlais (Annie Gilbert), Shaun McCourt (Joey Hind), Tony McGeever (David Taylor), Jayne Mckenna (Rose Narracott), Chris Milford (Joey Heart), Gary Mitchinson (Joey/Topthorn Hind), Thomas Mittleheuser (Ensemble), Ben Murray (Songperson/musician), Markus Schabbing (Joey/Topthorn Head), Adam Henderson Scott (John Greig/Geordie), Alisdair Simpson (Chapman Carter/Soldat Schmidt), James Alexander Taylor (Joey/Topthorn Heart), Emma Thornett (Baby Joey/Paulette), Lowri Walton (Ensemble), Scarlet Wilderink (Baby Joey), Sam Willmott (Topthorn Hind) and Simon Wolfe (Arthur Narracott).
War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, adapted for stage by Nick Stafford, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. War Horse received its world premiere at the National Theatre in October 2007.