War Horse Announces Preliminary Stops for 20-City National Tour

By Adam Hetrick
11 May 2011

War Horse's "Joey"
War Horse's "Joey"
Photo by Paul Kolnik

The National Theatre of Great Britain's production of War Horse will play San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and East Lansing as part of a 20-city U.S. national tour, which will launch in 2012.

As previously reported, War Horse is planning stops in Los Angeles (June 13-July 22, 2012), San Francisco (Aug. 1-26, 2012) and an open-ended Toronto production, which will begin in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Complete dates and additional cities for the 2012-2013 tour will be announced shortly. Representatives state that the tour will likely continue past its initial 20 engagements.

War Horse premiered in London in 2007 and officially opened on Broadway April 14 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Lincoln Center Theater aligned with the National Theatre of Great Britain and producer Boy Boyett to import the acclaimed drama. It continues to play a celebrated West End run. The Broadway production was recently nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Play.



It is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. Nick Stafford (The Battle Royal, The Snow Queen) adapted Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel.

War Horse features a series of life-sized equestrian puppets, which have the capability of strikingly lifelike movement. Each evocative creature (created by Handspring Puppet Company) is manipulated by an on-stage crew of three puppeteers who give life to a horse named 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 I, 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."

The production 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 has music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

War Horse began performances in October 2007 at the National's Olivier Theatre where it continued in repertory for a sold-out run through March 2009. The production transferred to the West End's New London Theatre March 28, 2009, where it continues. Stephen Spielberg is also at work on a film of the novel, which will arrive in late 2011.

Visit WarHorseonBroadway.

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