Last night (25 October 2012) stars were out in force to see the fifth anniversary gala performance of War Horse at the New London Theatre.

Based on the best-selling children's novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse has been seen by over 2.4 million people worldwide since its premiere at the National Theatre in 2007. The Broadway production continues its run at the Lincoln Center until 6 January 2013, and the North American tour will visit 27 cities in its first year.  Future productions are planned for Australia and Berlin, as well as a UK tour from September 2013.
Director Marianne Elliott as well as Morpurgo gave speeches at the curtain call, with Morpurgo talking about the number of horses that died during the First World War and the staging of the show in 2014 in Berlin: "It was extraordinary to walk around those streets," he said, "and to imagine that, 100 years before, those marching feet, those trotting horses had gone off just as they’d gone off from London and Paris and here we were bringing a play to Berlin about reconciliation."

War Horse is adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company.

Guests at the gala performance party included designer Rae Smith, actors Perdita Weeks, Susan George, Miranda Richardson, Nina Toussaint-White, Tyger Drew-Honey, paralympian Natasha Baker as well as Craig Revel Horwood and Adam Hart-Davis.


War Horse - Facts and Figures

  • War Horse received its World Premiere at the National Theatre on 9 October 2007 (press night: 17 October) and played in the Olivier for 92 performances until 14 February 2008 and was seen by over 104,000 people.
  • War Horse returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from 10 September2008 – 18 March 2009 for a total of 114 performances and was seen by a further 130,000 people.
  • War Horse transferred to the West End in 2009 with its first performance at the New London Theatre on 28 March 2009. War Horse is currently booking until 26 October 2013 at the New London Theatre.
  • As of October 2012, more than 1.6 million people will have seen War Horse in London, with over 2.4 million seeing the production worldwide.
  • War Horse has been seen by The Queen, Prince Phillip, Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Harry as well as many other famous faces from stage, screen and entertainment.

    Curtain Call
    Curtain Call for the 5th anniversary gala

  • The New York production of War Horse opened on 14 April 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center and will run until 6 January 2013.
  • Having seen the show at the New London Theatre, Steven Spielberg turned Michael Morpurgo’s novel into a film starring Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Emily Watson, which premiered in January 2012.

  • The Toronto production opened in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre and will run until 6 January 2013.
  • A North American tour began in Los Angeles in June 2012 and will visit 27 cities in its first year.
  • An Australian production will open at the Melbourne Arts Centre State Theatre on 31 December 2012 and will go on to play seasons in Sydney and Brisbane.
  • In autumn 2013 a German language production will open at the historic Theater des Westens in Berlin.

    National Theatre
    National Theatre building celebrates the 5th anniversary

  • A UK Tour will begin in Autumn 2013, visiting Plymouth, Birmingham, Salford, Edinburgh, Southampton, Sunderland, Bradford and Cardiff, and also Dublin.
  • The puppets in War Horse were created by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, based in Cape Town. They are made of cane andstretched georgette and are operated by puppeteers.
  • War Horse has 18 puppets, including horses Joey and Topthorn, as well as a goose, twoswallows and two crows.
  • Over 850 people have been employed worldwide on War Horse
  • Among its many international awards, War Horse won six Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play’ and a ‘Special Tony Award’ for Handspring Puppet Company.