War Horse - New London Theatre / National Theatre - animation and projection design by 59 Productions

Creative Team

Directors: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris

Designer/Drawings: Rae Smith

Puppet Design and Fabrication: Basil Jones & Adrian Kohler

Lighting Designer: Paule Constable

Director of Movement: Toby Sedgwick

Video Designers: Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer

Associate Video Designer: Lysander Ashton

Animation: Joseph Pierce for Fifty Nine Productions

Songmaker: John Tams

Music: Adrian Sutton

Sound Designer: Christopher Shutt

War Horse - West End

National Theatre


After two sell-out runs at the National Theatre, War Horse is making a transfer to the West End's New London Theatre where it runs from April 2009.

For more information and to book tickets, click here

To read reviews of the original production and to view photographs, click here

TV advert


"I don’t usually begin my reviews with booking advice, but this is a special case. Every child over 11 or 12, every teenage couch potato, should see War Horse because it proves that the theatre is emphatically not a medium that has become redundant in the digital age....Stunning"

***** The Times

"Genius isn't too strong a word to describe this astonishing production which has now transferred to the New London Theatre after two sold-out runs at the National Theatre. Puppetry, stage design, music and strong, deeply felt performances combine to turn Michael Morpurgo's fine children's novel into something both greater and grander on stage....If the puppet horses are the stars, the humans do an outstanding job, too. Rae Smith's designs and superb drawings, the latter projected on to the cyclorama, whisk us vividly from idyllic Devon to the horror of the trenches."

***** The Telegraph

"If ever a piece of theatre worked magic then it must be War Horse. Nick Stafford’s persuasive adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel, premiered at the National in 2007, now canters into town with the confidence of a natural-born winner in this superbly integrated production by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. It should appeal to imaginations aged anything from 12 to 92..."

**** Evening Standard

"Having sold out two seasons at the National Theatre, Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris’ equine adventure takes a running jump into the West End, proving once again that a production centring around a puppet horse really does have the power to reduce audiences of all ages to tears....A thundering success."

The Stage

"Genius...[there is] massive technical ingenuity on display."

The Guardian

"The surprise and delightful shock of the great sculptured horses in Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s story may have diminished for audiences since the production opened at the National Theatre 18 months ago, but the experience is no less moving or engaging...And the New London is an ideal home for the show, especially for Rae Smith’s open expanse of a design – backed off with her wonderful sketchy drawings, landscapes and silhouettes - that accommodates the horses, soldiers and farm workers of the story...A real winner.'

**** Whatsonstage.com

"...War Horse is a unique confluence of design, puppetry, music, and spectacular theatrics. And it's all heart and sinews. Joey and Topthorn, each "humanised" by three brilliantly inventive actors, are magnificent animals with a leaping, shining reality about them. The production by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith with Handspring Puppet Company, is unlike any other horse show you've ever seen."

**** The Independent

"...But it's not just the horses. The fluidity of Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris's direction is quite simply virtuoso. Not a moment is wasted as the wholesome pre-war world of soil and cider evolves seamlessly into the darkness of combat.

Domestic intimacy is counterpointed by noisy setpieces and harrowing tableaux. A battle scene with cavalry charging to their doom yields to a family Christmas given terrible significance by being played out on a corpse-strewn battlefield.

Alongside all this, Adrian Sutton's stirring live score provides mood and drama, swelling and propelling the action. No less impressive is Rae Smith's set, projecting pastoral and apocalyptic images onto a large screen which appears to have been torn from the back of the stage.....A theatrical thoroughbred."

***** The Daily Mail

"I wept like a baby through War Horse at the National, and again all through this transfer. Michael Morpurgo’s tale of the horses involved in the first world war harnesses both scalding grief and indignation...As Albert scours the trenches for Joey, Rae Smith’s designs replace bucolic ochre with harsh Flanders grey. This was the last Victorian war and the first modern slaughter, and the production grinds vaunting technology against vulnerable bodies. The horses, by Handspring, channel attention: equine exoskeletons with cog hips and limbs like levers, over which puppeteers layer each twitch, snuffle and whinny. An evening of huge emotional heft."

***** Sunday Times

"An unforgettable night in the theatre."

Financial Times