Just before half-term, Seaford College GCSE Drama and A Level Theatre Studies students visited the award-winning National Theatre production of War Horse at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane, London. Sadly the show closes at the end of the month, so this was a great opportunity to see what has become an iconic piece of British theatre during its run over the past nine years.
At the heart of the show are the fabulous horses created by Handspring Puppet Company and brought to life so magically by their puppeteers. The show is a theatrical adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel about a boy and his horse, who become separated due to the First World War. In following the horse’s story we see the horrors of war for both British and German soldiers and the civilian characters caught up in its relentless path.
“The students were particularly struck by the great attention to detail in all aspects of the production,” said Dr Jane Askew, Head of Drama. “The puppeteers are incredibly skilful and meticulous in the way they bring the horses to life and the open stage is reconfigured into a whole variety of settings including a Devonshire farm, a troop ship undertaking an ocean crossing, and a Somme battlefield, with the aid of atmospheric lighting, sound, projections and simple but hugely effective staging techniques.
“AS and GCSE students will have a lot to write about this production in their forthcoming examinations, so all in all it was a highly successful and productive theatre visit.”