Michael Morpurgo, the former Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse, on which the hit stage show is based, has been honoured by the Belgian Tourist Office – Brussels & Wallonia.
The writer, whose grandfather, the Belgian scholar, poet and playwright Emile Cammaerts, moved to England in 1908, was given the Honorary Famous Belgian Award at the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Awards Dinner at the Savoy. His most iconic ‘creation’, War Horse’s puppet Joey, was on hand to assist with the celebrations.
Since it premiered at the National Theatre in 2007, in an adaptation by Nick Stafford, the stage production of War Horse has been seen by more than four million theatregoers around the world.
The famous story is set at the outbreak of World War I, when Joey, the horse raised against the odds by young Albert Narracott, is sold to the cavalry and taken to fight in France. Desperate to save his friend, Albert lies about his age to enlist and embarks on the most dangerous of missions.
The life-sized puppet Joey, created by Handspring Puppet Company, has now become one of London theatre’s most iconic and easily recognisable images. Late last year one of the original West End Joeys was put on display at the V&A Museum.