Friday, 24 January 2014

'War Horse' New London Theatre *****

The National Theatre's West End production of ‘War Horse’ has been entertaining audiences since 2009 and my first experience here is just magical. The play is centred around the beginnings and through the whole of the First World War and suggests the love a young boy of 16 has with his beloved horse. The show is an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel and it's most successful and emotive work by legendary puppetry company Handspring Puppet Company has fully encapsulated the idea that the lead protagonists is in fact a skeletal bamboo frame and internal hinged horse. Within the entire production I thought that the use puppetry and human beings worked incredibly well through careful and coherent characterisation. The relationship of Albert, played so beautifully by Sion Daniel Young and his horse Joey is something very special and spectacular that no other show since ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ has been able to move me so much and Albert’s pursuit to find his best friend through the diabolical war zone clearly conveys that the romance plot is between the human and the animal. The puppeteering throughout this spellbinding show without doubt the star of the production as they have been able to comprehend the animalistic nature of not only the horses but others such as the duck to the most elegant of finish imaginable. For me personally I would like to see much more puppetry in the West End shows as it enhances another dimension of a production. Nick Stafford’s stage play is engaging at all moments and it promises to still amaze audiences at the New London Theatre for years to come. Once again the legendary theatre director Marianne Elliott has proved as to why she is the director of the decade and ‘War Horse’ is by far her best production out of them all as we seem to even forget that the puppeteer even exists and that Joey is actually alive. It feels that careful rehearsal time as enabled the show to be a profound success and the play deserves it most strongly. The design by Rae Smith is simply amazing as fully shows the misery that surrounded the First World War as well as the journey that Albert takes been reunited with his extraordinary horse. The use of video projections by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer were brilliantly captivating and allows you to feel the full sense of atmosphere of World War I. I found the whole experience of 'War Horse' to be one of such splendour and enjoyment.

No comments:

Post a Comment