War Horse at The New London Theatre

Monday, 23 February 2015

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since me and my mum took a trip to London for the day to see 
War Horse!
This was the first production that I have seen in a while that was not labelled as a musical, and it didn't have any massive dance numbers but there was still singing, which helped to tell the story.

I am so amazed that after eight years of running on the West End almost every show is sold out!

Firstly, nobody can deny how stunning the puppets are in this production! They were so well structured to give the horses their own personalities. The foal Joey had no joints in his legs which meant that his movements were all very stiff and fragile - very well characterised!

The actual actors in this play were such a credit to the performance and yes the puppets are probably the main focus but they really held their own. I particularly liked the performances of Jack Loxton (Albert Narracott), Richard Katz (Friedrich Muller) and Brian Lonsdale as the Geordie Soldier!

I was so impressed with the way the puppeteers brought life to the horse making all the neighing and snorting noises. At times I almost forgot that there were puppeteers in the adult Joey because the movements and sounds were so realistic. And the puppeteers were not only animals they were also scenery and at one point they clung to the hooves of the horses to act as the mud and making it difficult to walk.

Now, before I had seen the production I had seen Steven Spielberg's film version of War Horse which I think helped me with the story line a bit.  As soon as the other aspects of Joey's story came in to play - the little French girl and the German soldier - and all the different languages started been thrown around the stage I lost what was happening a bit. For someone who only knows basic German I barely followed what the actors were saying sometimes, and my mum said the same thing about the French. So maybe there needed to be more English translations after the foreign, either that or I'm just being naive.

I thought the war was very well presented in the show with the puppeteers also being the tanks. There were also puppets of extra soldiers and the skeleton horses were so creepy and represented the torture they received so well, in an obvious way.

This was a magnificent show that I’d love to see again sometime. The visuals were extraordinary and the puppets just indescribable. It  is definitely a show that everyone needs to see at some point in their lives, and with the amount of places it’s playing, touring, and being screened in, you really have no excuse not to!
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