War Horse galloped into Regent Theatre for an evening of heart-felt and quite, quite beautiful splendor with a stark reminder of the role and sacrifice made not only by humans, but animals during the First World War.
It’s first national tour, the show has been a permanent fixture since 2007 and performing to mass audiences, in London and millions worldwide. The story tells of a young boy and his beloved steed, Joey set to the background of the harrowing world war and is based on the best selling children’s book by Michael Morpurgo.
The first thing that is noticeable is the intricacy, synchronicity and precision of the puppeteers who master each and every equine movement. Despite the leather and steel frame, you have to steal yourself throughout to be reminded that these are puppets and not horses.
Amongst the many monumental performances were Lee Armstrong who plays Albert with strength juxtaposed with gentleness. The whole performance is wonderful and at times eerie, especially when the start of the war was marked with a ringing out, the whole audience took a sharp intake of breath and shuffled in their seats, such is the drama.
Depictions of The Somme were haunting and at the same-time beautifully depicted as the tedium and horror of daily trench life unfolds on stage.
Special mention to the sound engineers who use the acoustics of this wonderful venue not only to create a play, but a complete experience. Brilliant, just brilliant!
If you only see one play at the theatre this year, make it this one
The show runs until 11th October – One not to miss