War Horse’s much-loved equine star will make his final journey into battle on 12 March when the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed World War I-set production ends its run at the New London Theatre.
The hugely popular adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel has been a stable fixture in the capital for a staggering eight years where it has played more than 3,000 performances and been seen by more than 2.7 million people.
While War Horse’s closure marks the end of an era for one of London’s best loved plays, fans of the Olivier Award-winning drama can take advantage of an additional month of performances, which have been added to its run.
Talking about the show’s closure, Morpurgo said: “Great things from small beginnings grow. Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott dared to take a children’s book about a horse and a boy in the First World War and make a play of it with puppets. But what puppets! Between them, the National Theatre and Handspring Puppet Company have transformed the use of puppetry in theatre.
“They wove into their play the design of Rae Smith, the music of Adrian Sutton and John Tams, glorious lighting and sound, and spent two risky years putting the show together. The result, after a stuttering start, was an iconic play, but not simply a play, certainly not a musical, a show like no other, with puppets at its heart. It has moved millions in London and all over the world.”
Elliot and Morris’ production opened to critical acclaim at the National Theatre’s South Bank home in October 2007 where it enjoyed two successful seasons before transferring to its current and long-standing home in the West End.
Charting Morpurgo’s classic story of Albert’s beloved horse Joey, who’s sold to the cavalry and shipped to France, it has brought joy to adults and children alike with its touching tale and incredible life-sized puppets.
Following its final performance in the West End, War Horse will embark on a UK tour in autumn 2017.