The global theatre phenomenon, ‘War Horse’ will be making its South African première later this year, beginning with a season at The Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg in October before transferring to the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town in December.
‘War Horse’ will be presented in South Africa by Pieter Toerien, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and The National Theatre of Great Britain, in association with Handspring Puppet Company. The production has been seen by over 5 million people worldwide since its opening at the National Theatre in 2007. During its successful run on Broadway, it received five Tony Awards, plus a special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet Company.
“I fell in love with ‘War Horse’ when it first opened at the National Theatre in London nearly seven years ago. The brilliant actors and the genius of South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company made ‘War Horse’ an absolutely extraordinary evening in the theatre. I was determined to bring it to our audience so a dream is about to come true for me,” says Toerien.
“The design, artistry and craftsmanship of Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler and everyone at Handspring Puppet Company has delighted ‘War Horse’ audiences around the world. Every single puppet used in the show was hand-crafted in Cape Town at Handspring’s puppet factory, and it is only fitting that they are returning to the country where they were created, to be enjoyed by South African audiences,” says Chris Harper, the producer of ‘War Horse’.
‘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 groundbreaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, who has written over 100 books and was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, ‘War Horse’ has been adapted by Nick Stafford. The production is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and designed by Rae Smith.
* ‘War Horse’ opens first at The Teatro at Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg, on October 22, where it will run until November 30. The season at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town will be from December 5 until January 4, 2015. Tickets cost from R100 to R450 via Computicket or 0861 915 8000. For group bookings call Tracy in Cape Town on 021 438 3301 and Geraldine in Johannesburg on 011 511 1988.
Visit www.warhorseonstage.com for more information.