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The touring production of War Horse has reached the vast Brighton Centre as part of its lengthy UK run, which sees the visual spectacle play a combination of theatres and auditoriums.
Perfectly suited to the impressive space, War Horse has been brilliantly expanded to fill the comparably huge room. A horizontal screen representing a strip of ripped paper provides the only permanent structure on the stage, as the cast constructs the rest of the minimalist scenery.
War Horse tells the tale of a farmer’s son, Albert, who is tasked with training a horse won by his drunken farther, Ted, at an auction. Struggling to make ends meet Ted ends up selling the horse. who Albert has named Joey, to the army. Albert swiftly enlists to remain by his side.
Much of the action is portrayed through lights and sound, with the animals the product of exemplary puppetry. The incredibly realistic portrayal of Joey and his fellow animals is nothing short of breath-taking, with those in control of the mechanisms rightfully receiving the loudest cheers come the curtain call.
Watch the team discuss how the puppetry works below:
War Horse delivers atmospherics at their best, utilising the entire space with deliberately disorientating bangs and flashes that effectively simulate the on-stage conflict. The production is driven by emotion, as the plight of the horses bring together opposing forces and hint at the futility of war.
A beautiful story is underpinned by the creativity of the show. The casts’ performances are matched by the puppetry. The movement of each is hyper realistic, with audiences almost immediately forgetting they aren’t watching the real thing.
There are few, if any, theatre experiences like War Horse, and with it touring across the UK, many more fans are jumping on the opportunity witness the magic, in equal parts emotional, beautiful and impressive.
War Horse is booking now across the UK. For dates and tickets head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.