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War Horse (Birmingham)

The Whatsonstage.com Award winning play arrives in Birmingham for a sold-out limited season. The first ever UK tour of the National's biggest hit officially opens in the city, Kieran Johnson reviews.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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The simple story of one man and his precious horse has arrived in Birmingham. The National Theatre's monster hit, War Horse, finally makes its mark in the city with an impressive and heartwarming story for a limited season.

At the outbreak of World War One, young Albert (Lee Armstrong) is forced to part ways with his beloved horse Joey. He is sold to the army and shipped out to France to serve as cavalry; his difficult journey is documented in every heart tugging way imaginable. Albert, still too young to serve in the forces, is determined to find his precious animal. Joining up to fight for his country, Albert makes the adventure across the channel to discover the fate of Joey. The dramatic events of the War, coupled with the very human and touching tale of Albert and Joey, make for a fascinating, yet simple, tale.

One of the most fascinating performances in the show comes from Joey himself. Played by a terrifically talented team of three people, the attention to detail and accuracy in the puppetry is astounding. Devised by the Handspring Puppet Company, the creativity and imagination behind this beautiful puppet truly brings Joey to life. At times it was easy to forget that Joey wasn't a genuine thoroughbred live on the Hippodrome stage.

This Whatsonstage.com Award winning show from the National Theatre is second to none. The achievements by the cast, crew and creative team bring a first class show to Birmingham; it's no surprise that this is one, if not the most, impressive and popular show ever from the National.

War Horse's five week season in Birmingham is now sold out, but if you can grab yourself a ticket, then don't miss this opportunity to see one of the best shows of the last decade.