The Lowry, Manchester
20 November 2013 – 18 January 2014
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Last night was the premiere of the multi award-winning National Theatre production of War Horse at The Lowry in Salford, Manchester and we were lucky enough to go along and see it. And what a show it was! Mesmerising from start to finish we had an absolutely fantastic night.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo centres on Albert (played by Lee Armstrong) growing up on a farm in Dorset and the incredible bond he forms with his horse Joey. In time, Joey is bought and sent to France to help in the war and Albert, although not old enough to join up follows to find his friend. The puppeteers from Hand Spring Puppet Company do an amazing job and I honestly had forgotten that Joey and Topthorn (the other star of the show) were not real horses, by the second half they are so believable with the mechanical movement you forget they are just puppets.
Folk songs are performed by Bob Fox throughout the show and the gunfire and background scenes of soldiers and horses on the battlefield make it even more haunting. There are a few lighter moments in there too which give a nice touch and a much needed laugh. This is the best piece of theatre I have ever seen, it certainly lived up to my expectations. The whole show is totally convincing and the evening flew by, I was so absorbed in the story.
My granddaughter Abby, who is eleven, is a big fan and has read the book three times and watched the film directed by Steven Spielberg on many occasions was speechless at the end, her comment was "Wow Nana everybody should see this, it deserves a 5* and more” – I couldn't have put it better myself! There wasn't a dry eye in the house as the show came to an end and a well-deserved standing ovation was a great end to a perfect evening.
War Horse is showing at the Lowry Theatre until January 18th. Book those tickets. You will be missing out if you don't.
For more information or to book tickets click here.