Today (Thursday 6 February 2014), Joey, the life-size equine puppet from War Horse, made a special early morning appearance at Stoke-on-Trent’s iconic Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton followed by a demonstration on the stage of The Victoria Hall to a specially invited audience.
The National Theatre’s production of War Horse makes it Stoke-on-Trent premiere at The Regent Theatre from Wednesday 24 September to Saturday 11 October 2014.
The on-stage event included a puppetry demonstration and talk about the history of the show from War Horse’s puppetry director, Finn Caldwell. Finn was in the original production of War Horse in 2007 and was involved in the origination of the show. The puppeteers operating Joey in Stoke-on-Trent for the event were David Emmings (Joey Head), Stuart Angell (Joey Heart), Sam Clark (Joey Hind).
Local pottery firm Emma Bridgewater presented a specially commissioned War Horse plate to Gladstone during the morning.
Chris Harper, Producer of War Horse said:
“War Horse is on a spectacularly successful tour of the UK and Ireland, and we are particularly excited about bringing the show to the magnificent Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent in September. Thank you to the talented team at Emma Bridgewater for making an exclusive piece of pottery to commemorate our forthcoming visit to the City.”
Andrew Nicklin, General Manager of The Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall, said: “We were absolutely thrilled when it was announced War Horse would be visiting our theatre in September for a three week run.
“It is a privilege to be bringing this unique and thrilling production to The Regent.
“It is a truly magnificent show.”
Councillor Adrian Knapper, cabinet member for culture at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:
“It’s fantastic for Stoke-on-Trent that The Regent Theatre is attracting big-name productions like War Horse to the heart of our city.
“I have already purchased my tickets for the show and I would encourage others to do the same and make sure they don’t miss out on what is set to be a fantastic show.”
War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the British in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in No Man’s Land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
War Horse has been seen by over 4 million people worldwide since its premiere at the National Theatre in 2007 and continues its hugely successful run at the New London Theatre in the West End. Internationally, the show is on a major tour of North America, a German language production entitled Gefährten is running in Berlin and a Dutch language production opens in Amsterdam this summer.
There will be an NT Live screening of the West End production throughout cinemas in the OK and globally on 27 February.
Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is designed by Rae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by 59 Productions Ltd, song-making by John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. Alex Sims directs the tour with Katie Henry as associate director.
The War Horse company is comprised of: James Alper (Stewart/Heine/Ludwig), Lee Armstrong (Albert Narracott), Peter Ash (Billy Narracott/Klebb/Heine), Emily Aston (Paulette), Nisa Cole (Emilie), Joe Darke (Topthorn Heart), David Fleeshman (Arthur Narracott), Adam Foster (Bone/Fine), Bob Fox (Song Man), Jason Furnival (Carter/Strauss), Tom Gilbey (Joey Head), Oliver Grant (Topthorn Head), Finn Hanlon (Captain Nicholls/Schweyk), Karl Haynes (Greig/Vet Martin), Karen Henthorn (Rose Narracott), Steven Hillman (Ted Narracott), Michael Humphreys (Joey Heart), Linford Johnson (Topthorn Hind), Andrew Keay (Joey Hind), Rebecca Killick (Baby Joey/Annie Gilbert), Tom Larkin (Double Hind), John Leader (Double Heart), Helen Macfarlane (Baby Joey/Matron Callagher), Sean McKenzie (Priest/Thunder), Alex Moran (Baby Joey/David), Suzanne Nixon (Double Hind), Tom Norman (Double Heart), Joseph Richardson (Goose/Bugle/Schnabel), Paul Simpson (Klausen), Gavin Swift (Geordie), Simeon Truby (Allan/Manfred), Peter Twose (Double Head), Richard Vorster (Double Head) and Martin Wenner (Friedrich).
Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books and was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005.
War Horse is produced by the National Theatre – www.warhorseonstage.com
Tickets are now on sale and are available in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke.