War Horse

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War Horse is a 1982 children's novel [1] by English author, poet, playwright, and librettist Michael Morpurgo (1943- ) [2], on which both a play and a film have been based.

War Horse - The stage play (2007)

A play by British playwright and writer Nick Stafford (1959) [3], based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo.

The original text

The story of a boy and his horse, the play takes audiences on a journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France, utilizing life-sized horses built and manipulated by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company.

The stage play opened at the National Theatre in 2007, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, with puppets designed, constructed and directed by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler.

After its opening was seen millions of people worldwide, as the production played on London’s West End for more than six years, undertook major tours of the UK, North America (receiving five Tony Awards, plus a special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet while on Broadway), Australia, the Netherlands and Ireland. It has also played in Toronto and Berlin (in the German version).

Translations and adaptations

The text has been translated into German as Gefährten ("Companions")

Performance history in South Africa

2014: The South African première of the Nick Stafford stage adaptation, presented by Pieter Toerien, Rand Merchant Bank and The National Theatre of Great Britain, in association with Handspring Puppet Company, opened at Montecasino’s Teatro in Johannesburg (season October-November 2014), and then had a season at Artscape’s Opera in Cape Town (December 2014-January 2015).

According to the London producer, Chris Harper, "every single puppet used in War Horse is hand-crafted by Handspring Puppet Company in Cape Town, so bringing the show to South Africa is a particularly special moment in the history of this show." (Cited in the Handspring Puppet Company Newsletter April 2014[4]).


Wikipedia [5]



Handspring Puppet Company Newsletter April 2014[6]

Go to ESAT Bibliography

War Horse - The film (2011)

A film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and the stage play by Nick Stafford, screenplay written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis.



Go to ESAT Bibliography

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