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War Horse charges into West End

First Published 18 December 2008, Last Updated 5 January 2009

The National Theatre’s hugely successful family production War Horse will transfer to the New London theatre in March 2009, following its current run in the National’s Olivier theatre.

The award-winning adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel, which transfers “due to overwhelming demand”, has enjoyed two sell-out South Bank seasons in 2007 and 2008, collecting Laurence Olivier Awards for Set Design and Choreography in the process.

War Horse’s story begins at the outbreak of World War I, when Joey, the beloved horse of young Albert, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey’s adventure soon finds him in active service, fighting for both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. Albert, though, cannot easily forget his friend, and embarks on a mission to find Joey and bring him home.

War Horse, which is directed by National Theatre Associate Directors Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, is told using the striking puppetry of the South African Handspring Puppet Company, whose creations for the piece include life-size horses and an imposing tank. The production plays at the National Theatre until 18 March, transferring to the New London theatre on 28 March before an official opening on 3 April.

The New London theatre became available following the news that Imagine This, the new musical set in the Warsaw ghetto of 1942, would close earlier than expected. The musical gives its final performance on 20 December.

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