Four reasons we need the wonder of War Horse right now

One of the biggest theatre events is back on the big screen

There are hit plays...and then there’s War Horse. What began on the London stage in 2007 quickly became a cultural phenomenon, playing to millions around the world, scooping a ton of awards and getting the Hollywood treatment in a film adaptation.

If you’ve yet to discover its magic - or want to experience it all over again - you’re in luck, as the National Theatre Live performance is back on the big screen this November to mark Remembrance Day. Here are four reasons you should gallop, not trot, to get tickets.

It’s super emotional

Remember the story, adapted from the Michael Morpurgo book? A boy called Albert has a horse, Joey, who is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France at the start of World War One. A heartbroken Albert sets off on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home...meanwhile, Joey bonds with another horse, Topthorn. The special bond between humans and animals is at the heart of this story. One pack of tissues probably isn’t going to cut it.
war horse

Eight million people can’t be wrong

That’s how many have seen War Horse around the world. You might have heard of a few of them...celeb fans include everyone from Steven Spielberg (who liked it so much he turned it into a 2012 film), Will Smith and Queen of Pop Madonna to the ACTUAL Queen HRH. It won Tonys, Critics Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards - including the Audience Award for most popular show. Critics were pretty impressed too, with The Sunday Times calling it ‘the theatre event of the decade.”
war horse

The incredible craft

If you watch War Horse and wonder how on earth they trained horses to act...well, you wouldn’t be the first. The life size puppets are crafted and operated with such precision it feels like real-life creatures are clip-clopping about the stage. All 23 puppets in the show (there are also geese, swallows and crows) are handmade by a team of 14 craftspeople, with a set taking eight months to complete. Each horse has three puppeteers operating it. Punch and Judy this definitely isn’t.
war horse

It’s a rare opportunity

The National Theatre Live’s performance of War Horse was last on the big screen six years ago, when it was seen by 350,000 people world-wide. If you missed it then (or have been itching to see it all over again), now’s your chance. Filmed live in the West End in 2014, the big screen experience offers a unique chance to see the spectacular puppetry up close and soak up every flicker of emotion. “We have to give an experience to an audience that is better than in the theatre,” said Tim van Someren, a live camera director on the production. We all need a little magic in our lives right now, and this extraordinary show has it in spades.

Get NT Live: War Horse tickets and times

war horse