This was absoloutley amazing! I saw the show on Saturday 27th and was in tears! The actors are amazing, especially Luke Jerdy (Albert Narracot). The horses were amazing and you soon forget about the puppeteers.
Also was spectacular that the actors came from all directions. They came from the seats onto the stage which kept the audience engaged. Also it was amazing how the actors ran through the seating area through the audience!
Definitely recommend this production to anybody!!! - Jodie
30 Oct 12
The puppetiers are brilliant, they deserve much better material.I also liked the balladic narrative. However the story line is unconvincing and banal and the dramatization reminiscent of school, lots of acted pushing, falling over and shouting. Nothing sensitive or moving and I'm at a loss to understand the praise that's been heaped upon it.The first half is watchable, just, but once the horses "cross the line" to the other side the whole thing looses it's way completely. - Simon Munt
01 Feb 12
I think this production had it all. I watched warhorse at the New London and was amazed with its technical brilliance. It had a superbly written storyline taken from the Michael Morpurgo book and was adapted to the stage beautifully. For not one moment in this production was I bored. The topic of the production was tackled brilliantly: of the extensive use of horses used in WW1 and that many didn't return. The film had it all: humour, a dysfunctional family, rivalry, poignancy; but most of all the relationship between a young man and a horse. All the actors did a superb job and told the story brilliantly. But the best part of this production - the triumph - has to be the puppets. All of the puppets even the simple birds flying around and the humorous goose were fantastic. But the best puppets were the amazing horses and the puppeteers who created this magic. The small foal was used brilliantly. Then came the spine-tingling moment when Joey turned from a foal to a horse. The puppets movements were exactly like a horse - so much so that I certainly forgot the puppeteers below and saw it as a horse. The war scenes in the production were sad but done sensitively and I especially enjoyed seeing the production show the war from both sides. This is a triumph and one of the best productions to hit the stage. - Dan
22 Sep 11
Found this a bit boring especially the 1st half which went on a bit too long.
Maybe the subject matter did not appeal mainly older people in audience
28 Aug 11
This was a really interesting production but I am sorry to say it really was too long. There were too many flat and dull moments and although the horses were absolutely fantastic, there was, I am sorry to say, not enough narrative or soul. It should not last no more than 2 hours and the music could be better. Sorry all your guys who loved it. - Robin
28 Jul 11
Loved every minute of this amazing production. Tears filled my eyes,and went home thinking of this memorable performance. So glad I went...best theatre i've seen in years - jenny
07 May 11
What a fantastic production. I was gripped by every part of it. in a very short time I had fogoton the the horse was indeed a puppett as did my fianace.
We like most of the audience were moved to tears at the end. I have told all my friends this is a MUST to see - James
04 Apr 11
My best theatre experience in the last 2 years. Still playing to a "Full House" and a standing ovations for the cast at the end of the play.
It should be on your "must see lit" for 2011! - Alan Medd
18 Mar 11
I am amazed at he comments below 3 stars, if just for the technical excellence of the horse puppets. The story of WWI is, inevitably well known (God knows we 'overdo it' at school) but the humanity and devotion shown through the central characters (human and animal) is worth sharing and worth showing to a world, often weary of caring and incapable of true humanity. Have we become so cynical that we cannot go back to a simpler time in our hearts and revel in a rip-roaring story of love and family and despair and joy? I took friends and my own children on Christmas Eve and it made our Christmas. We came out more thoughful, talking about aspects of the play all the way back home. I thought it was magical in a way that I have not seen for many years. Let yourself be swept up in the vastness and suspend disbelief-it is worth it for the lightness of heart you will feel as you leave the theatre (handkie in hand). Loved, the book, loved the play. - DB
10 Mar 11
Saw this play last night. It was brilliant! The puppetry was so amazing that you really believed they were real horses. I also liked the use of imagery and the props were so effective. My only critism was that the second half was a tad too long and the diction of the German officer was difficult to understand. Still that did not detract from this amazing piece of theatre. - Deirdre B
01 Jan 11
I think the war horse was amazing.It realy portraid what horses have done for us in the war and,being a horse owner myself,how we can sometimes take them for granted.AMAZING puppetry.It has helped me to understand the concept of war from a horses point of view.Big fan of the book and would love to see the play again.I realy don't understand how people can give this any lower then 5 stars :) - Savannah
11 Nov 10
The New London Theatre is a 70’s build that feels very provincial rep’. So the same problem to overcome from when I ventured through the foyer decades ago to see another disappointment – Cats. The puppets create an atmosphere of panto’ and the various birds didn’t quite convince, along with the senior ranking German soldier. The horses and lone duck are this production’s only assets ..the lead lad and some other performances are acceptable. The offer of a £15 side-circle seat should have been grabbed since it was little further from the stage than the £49.50p stalls. Perhaps that’s the avid theatregoers’ secret; buy the cheapest seat in the house then if it’s a great show go back for a second viewing in a good seat, you wont have wasted money. Hard to believe this show is still running after three years, proving you can fool all of the people all of the time. The knowledge of Spielberg’s version in production (filming up-your-street as we speak) may well have boosted audiences. This is most unprofessional production I have ever seen in the West End since Fire Angel; it raggedly straggles along but has the basis to be much better, even slick. Yet another show with projection screens to tell us what’s going on; do we really need to know the date of each scene? HERE, I’LL SPELL IT OUT DIRECTORS: VDU’s and info’ screens in a non-contemporary piece destroy all semblance of authenticity. What’s wrong with script, dialogue, props, sound, flats, cycloramas, and lighting (green for grass btw) to portray Salisbury plane; or that WW1 is nearing its end? Dreadful: who started this craze? Why not just wait until the film is out, you can then screen that instead with the cast sitting on stage munching biscuits and watching us watching the film of what they (stage actors) should be doing! Surprising lack of youngsters in the audience, but it did attract a good balance of men in a West End audience profile normally dominated by women aged over forty. Large foyers and quick service but a very short interval. The worst curtain call routine ever seen. Shoot the producers and directors. Tissues only required for the super-sensitive; horse lovers should not be too distressed. - Stevie
29 Oct 10
It was abosulutely amazing and a very beautifully acted out theatre production. it was very emotional with the use of effects and music and I found it emotional but stunning. I would definitely go again!! - Zoe
16 Oct 10
I really enjoyed the show - charli harrison
11 Oct 10
I thought that this production was the best and well linked th the book. I honestly cannot comprehend how anyone can give this production anything less that five stars, believe me if I could, I'd give it six! - Victoria Oxley
27 Sep 10
Am unable to understand why anyone could rate this production less than five stars. I caught eleven shows while on my annual trip to London this year and this was tops. Glenn from Texas - Glenn Payne
18 Sep 10
I like horses and grew up around them, I am sentimental about animals but this play did not make me emotional except for 30 seconds. It was not as good as the hype. - simone
12 Sep 10
Did not like it. Bits were really bad, and it went on for too long. - notgoingagain!
12 Sep 10
A marvellous production, the horses are an art form themselves. You begin to believe they are real! Fantastic, go if you possibly can! - susan mclaren
17 Aug 10
I actually came away from this trip to the theatre drained and slightly distressed. I am a horsey person and so may be a little more sensitive than some to the story linem and actually found it traumatic and almost walked out at one point. It is a story about war and death so you will not come away huming a tune and tapping your feet. Really well done, but I can't say it was a very enjoyable experience for me. Maybe I was being over sensitive??? I would suggest going to see it for your self though. - Amanda
13 Aug 10
The story was a good one and the puppets - the horses were brilliant. The second half of the show was not so good - diction was poor, especially from the German officer. One could follow the gist of the story though. Glad we went - but would not go to see it again. - Phil
10 Aug 10
I forgot my tissues!! Luckily my friend did not - as I left decidedly tear-streaked! War Horse is the most stunning, amazing, emotionally draining production I have seen in a very long time. For all you hear about the horses, and for all the pictures you see of them - nothing prepares for experiencing them "in the flesh". Outstanding. This was my first time, but definitely not my last.
12 Jul 10
Visually interesting but the plot is predictable and the show generally overly sentimental. OK, but not great theatre. - Mark
04 Jul 10
An over-hype. We left at the interval, fed up with not being able to hear the dialogue - the horse was a better actor than all of them and that's not saying much. Oh and the goose, that was good. We paid for the best seats too, foolishly believing the hype.
- Miriam Heyburn
06 Jun 10
Fantastic. Really brings it home to you how awful the 2nd world war was for men and horses. - Stephanie Hockenhull
17 May 10
This is bloody brilliant.
I dont Care for the story much, and i dont much care for Horses... but this was so bloody brilliant i couldn't help but be manipulated in every way.
I cried when the fowl came onstage, i crided hen the horses went to war, i cried when they died...
it's amazing. go.
03 Mar 10
I thought it was superb. The puppets were amazing. Well worth the price ofthe ticket. - TAH
20 Feb 10
I left the theatre emotionally drained, this was a fantastic production. The imagination of the designers to create the set and the puppets, that appeared to be alive was truly amazing. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. Magnificent. - Pat D
24 Jan 10
I went with my sister and mum to see it in May. I am used to seeing pantomimes as the children were growing up and admit to being uneducated as to different genres within theatre. However, I sat, spellbound during the entire performance. The puppetry was superb, far surpassing my conception of how this could be brought to life on stage. The acting did not detract from the animation and I left the Theatre, in tears and with all the respect due to these animals which, did not ask to be part of the terrible conflict - as did many of their human companions. - Lindsey Joyce
14 Jan 10
This seemed to me theatre at its very best. - Pit, Germany
15 Dec 09
I saw this play last night. Worth every second of the journey from Sussex and crawling back out of London to get home. The horses were stunning and utterly believable (and I own several, so I know). Albert's accent was a little overdone perhaps, but as for Albert shouting at the horses it's a play for goodness sake, the audience has to hear! And the love came through, which is what counts. This play will not be bettered for many years. All who can see it should see it. - Liz
12 Dec 09
After marveling at the mechanics and movement of the horse l pretty much lost interest. Having not read the book I seemed to know what the plot would hold boy loses horse boy finds horse.
I fell asleep through the most moving scene something to do with barbed wire. All in all pretty dull I thought. - kevin
10 Dec 09
Much though I would love to give the play 5 stars - any means of highlighting the role animals 'played' in warfare is laudable - but truth be told, I found this play (unintentionally) laughable and melodramatic for the most part.
Albert should have stayed at the frontline with his OTT acting and Oooh Arrrr over-cooked accent.
The children's book, upon which it is based, is slightly better. - Yeoman
29 Oct 09
i do lbelieve this was one of the greatest performances i have ever experienced. what was very unexpected was the use of puppetry, which made it even more realistic and moving. although i was not moved to tears as such i must say i would definitely pay to see this play again.
i saw it yesterday and a play like that will stay with me for ever. very effective use of music, lights, sound and visuals. a great adaptation of the book in my opinion. Well Done !! - Nana
15 Oct 09
I was strangley unmoved by the play..although visualy spectacular i was bored by the cliched story. of course they will win the ploughing bet! of course the son will find his horse at the front! it's like a horsey 'saving private ryan' - mal
14 Oct 09
An amazing spectacle which is sadly let down by being a weak play. The horse puppetry is truly brilliant, breathtaking at times, as is the set and imagery created. The dialouge is poor, cliched and the over acting of the central character and his mother proves tedious after three minutes and continues right through to the end. Very much over hyped, perhaps the "Waterworld" of modern theatre. - Morgan
14 Sep 09
Quite possibly the most moving theatrical experience ever. Can't find the words to express the beauty and mastery in which this story was told. Thank you, this will stay with me for a lifetime. - Abby
12 Sep 09
Truly powerful, wonderful magical amazing stage show. Fabulous puppateers which you soon forget about as the horses become real. Also, music and storytelling is exceptional.
- Jackie McGurrell
03 Sep 09
I dunno hwy everyones raving about it, it wasnt exactly good or anything. - Lucy
13 Aug 09
It was really like unrealistic. The horses were good and well made, but the guy that was supposed to be like in love with the horse was really stupid and horses dont respond to you shouting at them. It doesnt matter if your saying I LOVE YOU BOY or YOU STUPID THING if you shout it, the horse doesnt understand what your saying, it doesnt like speak English so they think your shouting at them and are cross with them. Someone who has no experience with backing or breaking foals and horses isn't gonna be able to bring on a foal and/or know what to do. I was sat there like laughing and I looked round and everyone else was like crying :S
But overall, I really really enjoyed the play. - BILLS MARTIN
13 Aug 09
So amazing- I did not think it would be done using puppet horses that people can ride! - Ruby
08 Aug 09
Play and the puppetry are as excellent as others have said before but why oh why did no one tell me about Alberts accent? It distracted me throughout and nearly spoiled what was otherwise a fantastic production - Gary
16 Jul 09
I saw today's matinee and it certainly lived up to all the hype. Spectacular stirring exciting and heartfelt production. I've haven't been moved in such a way for a very long time. Cannot believe I cried at a mechanical horse such was the wonderful stroytelling! - cate
11 Apr 09
A terrific theatrical experience and, unusally for me, a show I have seen again for a third time! Now that it's transferring to The New London theatre I feel less guilty for having twice deprived someone else the chance of seeing this extraordinary sell-out show. Well done to the NT for staging such a stunning production of Michael Morpurgo's very moving story. - rds
01 Jan 09
This is an unmissable experience, the music is also amazing and adds such an atmosphere to the show that you forget where you are! - Kevin Kelly
08 Dec 08
Without question the most extraordinary theatrical experience I've ever had. On one level a straightforard story of a boy who grows up with a horse and goes to war to find him when he is acquired by the army for the First World War, it is an incredible technical and emotional achievement as the horror of the war and the humanity of its participants are brought to life by their interactions with their horses. The way the horses are brought to life on stage is, simply, a work of theatrical genius. - Robin
07 Dec 08
I had the privilege of seeing this amazing show tonight and to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. This is a beautifully crafted play which tells of the futility of the First World War, through the story of a boy and the love he has for his horse.
The acting was exemplary throughout and those performers who worked the animals especially the horses and made you believe they were real were quite brilliant.
A magical and emotional evening. I have rarely enjoyed anything at the National Theatre as much. - Paul Wallis
11 Nov 08
Yes, it's all true - it's a wonderful show, brought alive by some fine acting (in particular, newcomer Kit Harington as Albert), innovative staging, moving songs and those amazing horse puppets. Bravo NT! - Andrew
11 Nov 08
It's just as good the second time round. The staging is the star - full of imagination and originality. When you find yourself gasping in horror as a puppet horse is about to be shot, you know theatre has cast it's magic spell. Like Coram Boy before it, this is one of the best shows with universal appeal staged anywhere. - Gareth James
10 Nov 08
I came away from the Olivier today feeling very privileged to have seen such a truly stunning piece of theatre. It was brilliantly done and each member of the cast gave an incredible performance. A special bravo to young Kit Harington who played Albert... he has just graduated and this is his first professional engagement. The horses themselves were just so beautiful and the detail that went into their creation is superb, and their equine behaviour a joy to behold. I was in tears many times during the second half (as were several others around me) but I wouldn't have missed War Horse for anything - well done and thank you to all concerned for staging this magical, thought-provoking and very moving play. - Jenny
30 Sep 08
Like the BBC, another subsidised institution, the National is now scheduling an increasing number of repeats. This does though provide another opportunity to see the remarkable War Horse. Substantially recast since last year, mostly successfully and now including a human Emily, the real stars are the astonishing puppet horses. You soon forget the puppeteers and it is amazing how the animals take on personalities. Second time around the second half is a bit repetitive and drags a bit, partially thanks to an underwhelming Muller, but the show knows how to punch the emotional buttons. At the end there was a clamour for extra tissues and not just for the school parties. War Horse remains a reminder of how dramatic live theatre can be. - David Baxter
30 Sep 08
I was lucky enough to see this last year at the National and can honestly say that it was the most astounding piece of theatre I've ever seen.
To call the horses in this play "puppets" just doesn't begin to describe the magnificence of them.
I have owned horses all my life and the attention to detail in regards to their movement and behaviour is incredibly accurate. You truly forget within minutes that these creations are not living breathing animals.
The moments where the baby "Joey" walks unsteadily on stage whinnying for his mother, the goosebump inducing entrance of adult "Joey" rearing centre stage, the wonderful scene of Joey and Albert galloping joyously cross country and the heart breaking agonies the two equine heroes of Joey & Topthorn suffer during wartime, all take you on an emotionally charged and all consuming journey. I laughed and yes, cried throughout!
The puppets are not only used in the equine sense but are also skilfully wielded as birds, a small child and even a rolling tank, all interacting seamlessly with the human characters.
The simplistic set serves wonderfully in focussing your attention solely on the characters. An inspired use of a banner, lit with sketched landscapes, provides an unobtrusive yet highly effective backdrop for the action.
I simply cannot recommend this enough, I have already booked my tickets again for this year and if you are considering a theatre trip this Autumn just be sure to make it War Horse (just remember to take some tissues with you!). - Rhian
Whatsonstage.com - Discount London theatre tickets, theatre news and reviews, Theatre videos, Theatre discussion, National Theatre Listings. Covering London's West End, all of Theatreland and all UK theatre. The best
for London Theatre Ticket Discounts.