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Warhorse

For my birthday larians fulfilled a wish I have been muttering about for many months.

A long time ago, I saw the first reviews for the stageplay Warhorse and knew it was going to be a winner. The tickets were not expensive then, but time went on and I never had the headspace to think about it. Very quickly it became a hit, ticket prices shot up, bookings needed to be made ages in advance...cursing myself for having not got in early, I abandoned my hopes until yesterday, when my lover's birthday card included two tickets to the National Theatre at Drury Lane.

I never want to forget Warhorse. This play is the most complete fusion of stagework and imagination I have ever seen, a production in which every element works to create something so superb, I am wondering if it is simply the best I've watched - and I include Antony Sher's Richard III, Roger Rees' Hamlet and Kenneth Branagh's initial Henry V in that list. I am trying to think if there is one element of dramatic craft not engaged magnificently in this creation. From skilled use of stage and props to live music to delicate and subtle animation in the background, to heartfelt acting to puppets...

Yes, puppets. But not cutesy puppets, muppets, moppets, poppets, fraggles, or feebles. This is something else. In love though I was, I didn't buy posters or photos, because they can't convey what was happening. You can't feel it until you see it move and breathe alive, and by that time, my descriptions are redundant.

The play is about a horse sold to the army at the start of WWI, but you don't have to be even remotely horsey to enjoy it. Strange really, I can't review this play because I don't want to reveal anything much about it. I guess I don't want to spoil the surprise or somehow oversell it, though at this time I don't see how the latter is possible. So I will stop writing soon, and simply say, it's £50 a ticket and worth every single penny. If you are going to be in London and want to see the very best the West End has to offer, make the effort to see this.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
blackcurrants
Jul. 11th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
My mum saw it and just loved it, though she was even more gobsmacked and considerably less articulate about it than you. I looked at their website and the tiny film clip had me agog. I think I'm going to have to get my arse to Broadway, when it gets here next year. I think I'm going to weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

:) So glad you had a great time!
smokingboot
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
Oh, I think you will weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep all right! The precipitation starts every time I think about it, some three days later - and I honestly believe the clip doesn't do it justice. It could be so easily written off as nostalgia meets horrors of war stuff, sort of Equus meets Oh What A Lovely War! but it's just something else. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did xxx
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
You have it entirely right. I determined not to buy posters or photos because they could never convey how the play made me feel. Now I keep looking at the programme, wanting to pull out the centrepage of Joey and Topthorne and frame it. I believe in them.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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