I’m ashamed to say that I saw Warhorse for the first time last week. The first time. After watching Jane Eyre earlier this year I knew that Warhorse would not disappoint. I just cannot believe it’s taken me so long to see it.
Settling back into my seat at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and watching the hundreds of people packing into the theatre, the buzz and atmosphere is incredible. I feel incredibly lucky to be sat in that audience, as a reviewer.
Warhorse is currently touring the UK after eight years on the West End. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, Warhorse tells the story of Albert Narracott and his beloved horse, Joey. It is absolutely, without a doubt, one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in a really long time.
I wonder as I skim through the programme, how on earth the creative team would pull off a play about horses in World War One. But, my goodness have they done all that and more. It is incredible. A complete feast for the eyes, pulling at the heartstrings, powerful, emotional, raw and extremely clever. Many times I sit with a lump in my throat contemplating the actions, thoughts and feelings of those involved in World War One.
The use of sound, lights and physical theatre make Warhorse an absolute spectacle. The way the creative team convey World War One is genius, it takes me by surprise every few minutes. Thomas Dennis, who plays Albert, is the standout for me. He is absolutely captivating, his raw emotion and ability to create a relationship between his character and a puppet, is outstanding. I believe every single moment of his performance. I remember seeing him as Christopher in The Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, his portrayal of Albert is even more powerful and heart wrenching.
The skill and expertise of the puppeteers is jaw dropping. The precision and ability to turn an inanimate object into something that appears to have feelings is something that you have to see to believe. At times, I forget that Joey isn’t real.
Warhorse is powerful, raw and heart wrenching but it is also a story of love, friendship and never losing hope. I will recommend Warhorse a thousand times over to friends, family, colleagues and my Performing Arts students. It truly is a must-see. I’m now off to read the book. 5/5
Review written by Stacie Pollard.
Warhorse is currently showing until Saturday 14th October 2017 at the Marlowe Theatre. For more information on the production, visit here…