Based on the book “War Horse” by Michael Morpurgo, the theatrical performance of War Horse has attracted over 5 million people since its premiere in 2007 and over a million only last year.
A few days ago (in the 27th of February) I was among the hundreds of people seeing the live broadcast at CineWorld. I only had to pay £6 due to my Unlimited Card so I had some massive savings compared to the £50+ that you have to pay for the Live performance.
At the end of the night though, I wished so much I would have paid to see this performance live. It was a fantastic experience.
About the subject
A young man named Albert’s beloved horse Joey, is sold to the British cavalry and shipped to France at the outbreak of World War I. Joey’s rider, Captain Nicholls, is killed while riding Joey – leaving the poor horse to run wild in the midst of enemy fire, death, and disease. Fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, being utilized by both sides at different times before finding himself alone again, in “No Man’s Land.” Back home, Albert cannot forget Joey, and since he is still not old enough to enlist in the British Army, he embarks on a dangerous quest to locate his beloved horse and bring him safely home.
About the play
The acting was superb. The life-sized horse puppets had all the right moves specific to a horse, even the neighing.
The movements were fluid, hypnotic at times. The puppeteers did a fantastic job moving the massive horses and animating them in the truest sense. “Anima” comes from latin and it means “soul”. The puppet horses on the scene had a soul. I cried like a baby when the Black Beauty Horse, Joey’s friend, broke down and died. I cried some more when the two were reunited. I have never been moved by a play in such a drastic way ever since I saw “One flew over a cuckoo’s nest” in Cluj-Napoca.
- The multi-lingual acting. I speak both French and German and I could easily follow the plot as they were switching between languages. The accent was perfect, the delivery – spotless. I feel though for the 90% of the people in the cinema who were staring blankly at the scene during the conversations. I heard multiple people ask “What are they saying?” in shushed voices. I feel they should offer a translation / subtitles in the German parts & French parts.
- The songs sung during the performance
- The fact that they did not hide the puppeteers and that they were an active part of the play
- The humor – it was well placed and well delivered. It made the entire story not seem like a total Greek Tragedy.
- The horses. You’ll see in the gallery below what I mean.
- I can honestly not think of anything bad to say about this. I am desperately trying to find a fault with it but it conforms with all my grading points: length, quality of acting, scene switching, comic relief, drama, emotion, lighting & decor.
A few pictures can barely describe the beauty of the show.