Will the Award-Winning War Horse Gallop to New York in 2011?

News   Will the Award-Winning War Horse Gallop to New York in 2011?
The National Theatre's acclaimed production of War Horse, which is currently playing an extended West End engagement, will likely arrive in New York in 2011.

The New York Times reports that the production's British and American producers (including Bob Boyett of The Seagull, Boeing-Boeing, South Pacific) are currently searching for a Broadway house or other site capable of accommodating the expansive thrust production, which features seven-foot tall puppet horses and a cast of more than 30 performers.

Producers are considering such venues as the Park Avenue Armory, currently housing Le Théâtre du Soleil's Les Éphémères, or Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater, whose thrust stage is home to the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific.

"This level of puppetry hasn't been seen on Broadway before, and this is what audiences are going to find riveting," puppet designer Basil Jones told the Times.

Nick Stafford (The Battle Royal, The Snow Queen) adapted Michael Morpurgo's novel for the National Theatre production, which incorporates life-like puppets created by Handspring Puppet Company.

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. The official website for War Horse describes the production this way: "At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He's 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 treacherous mission to the trenches to find him 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 the songmaker is John Tams. The production also features music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. Mervyn Millar is the production associate.

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 and is currently booking through February 2010.

Visit WarHorseLondon.

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