War Horse Play: An Overview

War Horse Play

Have you heard about the War Horse play? This play is one of the most popular on stage today, both in England, the United States, and various countries around the world.

What is War Horse?

War Horse is a play adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford. The play is based on the children’s book War Horse, written by Michael Morpurgo and published in 1982. The first showing of the play premiered on October 17, 2007. It ran at the National Theatre on the South Bank in London. Since then, the play has had several runs, off West End, in West End, on Broadway in the United States, in Canada, Australia, and several other countries around the world.  

The Plot

The story of War Horse is similar to some other horse stories, but with a twist. The horse is purchased near the beginning of the 1900s to become a plow horse. Two brothers have a rivalry and use the horse as a bet. Eventually, one of the brothers sells the horse to the army to become a war horse. The owner of the horse, Albert, lies about his age to join the horse in the army. They face various challenges and close calls, but we’d rather not spoil the play – it’s definitely worth seeing! The author used information gathered from real life war veterans of World War I as research for the story in the book. 

Why is War Horse famous? 

Although the author was originally skeptical about the book being made into a play, the play saw almost overnight success. The compelling story of love, loss, war, and friendship strikes a chord with viewers. Although the role of the horse is played by a life-size puppet on stage, the puppet is realistic rather than comical. The War Horse play captures the feeling of the book, and the story is both moving and memorable. 

Where can you see War Horse? 

There are two ways to see War Horse in England. The first location is at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane. This show is running from now until 2014. You can also view the traveling version of the show at many locations around the UK in 2013 and 2014. The play is visiting Birmingham, Plymouth, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Bradford, Southampton, Dublin, and Salford. You can learn more about where the War Horse musical is playing by visiting the War Horse on Stage website

The Film

In 2011, an adaptation of the film was produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks. In the book, the narration is told through the prospective of the horse. Because telling a story from a horse’s prospective doesn’t really work in film, the film adaptation is based more off of the narrative style present in the play, although there are no musical songs in the movie. 

War Horse is a compelling story that displays the real emotions and scenes from war life. The story is loved because it shows how the bond between human and animal can be as strong, or stronger, as the bond between people themselves. Viewers of all ages will enjoy watching the stage production of War Horse. 

Jo Tumble has a passion for musicals. She enjoys sharing her experiences on culture and travel blogs. 

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