REVIEW: WAR HORSE AT CURVE PROVES ITSELF A ONE HORSE RACE
I must admit, when the Hollywood blockbuster War Horse hit the Silver Screens it passed me by, so it was with an open mind that I sat down to watch the National Theatre’s production, which is running at Curve until the 12th October. What I didn’t expect was to be taken on a breath-taking emotional rollercoaster that by witnessing atrocities from the viewpoint of an animal can tear through the emotional resistance that today’s world of 24-hour news and social media exposure has built up within us, writes Andy Chamberlain.
War Horse tells the story of Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who, at the outbreak of World War I, are forcibly parted when Albert’s father sells the horse to the British cavalry. Against the backdrop of the Great War, Joey bears witness to the agonies of war whilst transforming those he meets along the way until Albert, unable to forget his friend, searches the battlefields of France to find Joey and bring him home.
War Horse is truly an ensemble piece, with the whole cast seamlessly moving you from one scene to another. Special mention to Scott Miller who plays the lead character Albert, a young lad who bonds with Joey the foal spring-boarding the story out of the traps. You instantly fall in love with his character and through that, and the creative genius mood the puppeteers, Joey the horse. You see this again with the brief but enduring friendship with Dave in the trenches, superbly played by Khalid Daley.
But what is most engaging as an audience member is how the story unfolds from both the human and equine protagonists. Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris’ direction is sublime and the whole production is like a slick, well-oiled machine, keeping you enthralled all the way through. When it came to the finish line it was thoroughly deserving of the full house standing ovation it received.
Well and truly a must-see show. War Horse runs at Curve until the 12th October. Book your tickets at www.curveonline.co.uk