National Theatre of London’s WAR HORSE – Sydney Gala Opening

1 year ago
Declan Dowling

The Acclaimed National Theatre of London production of the Tony Award Winning best play by Nick Stafford has opened spectacularly at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with a strictly limited 35 performance season before it moves onto Perth. Featuring a cast of 34 and more than 20 puppets; War Horse is one of those shows you hear so much about that by the time you hear it called “Extraordinary” and “Incredible” for the millionth time it looses all meaning… That is until you see it.

There aren’t words in the English language to describe the utter magnificence and theatrical sophistication of a piece of theatre like War Horse – which is bad business for a journalist. It is an experience, an odyssey, a triumph of writing, direction and stagecraft and that’s before even mentioning the ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses, soaring birds and epic machines of war to the stage in opulent theatrical glory.

War Horse follows the story of 16 year old English farm boy Albert and his prized Horse and friend Joey on the cusp of World War One. When the family is in dire need of money Albert’s father sells Joey to the army who promise him back by Christmas. When the war extends beyond the time frame anyone imagined Albert enlists in the army and is shipped to France to find his beloved horse. An incredible, nay, beautiful journey of friendship, family and a showcase of the horrors of war so deeply involved it left me gripping my seat and swearing black and blue “If they kill that damnable horse I will be distraught…”

During it’s Sydney Gala I was lucky enough to catch up with Simon Price a.k.a Simon Wiggle after the show:

“I’ve wanted to see War Horse for years and years and years. I’ve been over to the UK and I just missed it there and I have been working where it’s been on elsewhere so until now I’ve never had a chance to see it…”

“…Tonight is a very special occasion, I’m loving it. The puppetry is extraordinary. Its everything I imagined, everything I hoped for – a wonderful wonderful performance of a wonderful wonderful show.”

A Wonderful Wonderful show indeed – It’s director Marianne Elliott has truly crafted a show for the decades that will live on as a staple of some of the greatest theatrical work ever created and leave those who haven’t seen it longing for a second chance to have done so. You will be sorry to miss this, it’s return Australian season – It closes in Sydney on March 15th and moves to Perth for the final leg of its Australian return 24th of March to 12th of April.
Tickets available at:

Courtesy of the National Theatre

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