Battle Is Over for National Tour of War Horse | Playbill

News Battle Is Over for National Tour of War Horse
The North American touring company of War Horse, the British epic about a young man and his beloved horse who are swept into the start of the First World War, ends its final engagement Aug. 24 at Tokyo’s Theatre Orb.

Leah Hofmann and
Leah Hofmann and "Joey" Photo by Paul Kolnik

The tour opened in June 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and has played over 68 engagements since its launch. The final engagement in Tokyo marked the Asian premiere of the Tony-winning production.

During its tour War Horse was seen by over 1.2 million audience members. 

The National Theatre production of War Horse, which blends naturalistic storytelling and breathtaking puppetry, premiered on Broadway March 15, 2011. Writer Nick Stafford's imaginative stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 coming-of-age novel for children arrived on Broadway after an acclaimed London premiere. War Horse officially opened on Broadway to critical praise April 14, 2011. The Broadway production concluded Jan. 6, 2013. 

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. The production incorporates 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.

Lincoln Center Theater aligned with the National Theatre of Great Britain and producer Bob Boyett to import War Horse. The production earned five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. A Special Tony Award was also presented to the Handspring Puppet Company. 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. Stephen Spielberg's film adaptation of the novel debuted in December 2011.



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