LCT has aligned with the National Theatre and producer Boy Boyett to import the poignant work about a young boy and his horse during the first World War, which will begin performances March 15, 2011, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. War Horse will officially open on Broadway April 14, 2011.
Nick Stafford (The Battle Royal, The Snow Queen) adapted Morpurgo's novel for the National Theatre production, which incorporates lifelike puppets created by Handspring Puppet Company. The evocative creatures are manipulated by an on-stage crew of puppeteers who give life to Joey, as he grows from a skittish foal into a full-grown horse.
War Horse won the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for the set design by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company; Toby Sedgwick received an Olivier Award for his choreography.
Here's how LCT bills the work: "At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey is soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a mission to find his horse and bring him home."
War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris and features designs by Rae Smith and original puppet design and construction by Adrian Kohler, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler; video designers are Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer; and songs are by John Tams. The production also features music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. Casting is currently underway for the Broadway production that will employ a cast of 35.
War Horse began performances in October 2007 at the National's Olivier Theatre where it continued in repertory through March 2009. The production transferred to the West End's New London Theatre March 28, 2009 where it continues to run.