It was announced today, 2 October 2012, that The National Theatre's award-winning production of War Horse begins a ten month, nine-venue tour of the UK and Ireland in the autumn of 2013. A highlight of Birmingham Hippodrome's exciting autumn season, War Horse performances run from Thursday 17 October to Saturday 9 November 2013, presented in partnership with Pertemps.
National Theatre Producer Chris Harper said: "We are delighted that our production of War Horse will soon be touring the UK and Ireland and we are particularly thrilled that the tour opens in Devon, where the play is set."
War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the English in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in no man's land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
War Horse is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is designed by Rae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by 59 Productions Ltd, song-making by John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome added: "War Horse is without a doubt one of the theatrical masterpieces of recent years, and will be a major highlight of our 2013 season. We are particularly pleased to be able to bring such a prestigious production to Birmingham in partnership with Pertemps who are kindly supporting our Stage Appeal with their generous financial support."
Tim Watts, chairman of Pertemps Network Group, said: "We are very proud to be working in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome for The National Theatre's tour of War Horse. This has been one of the most talked about theatre productions of recent times, and will be a truly exciting and popular event of the year. We want to play our part so those in the Midlands can enjoy it here in Birmingham. Like the Hippodrome, Pertemps has built a reputation for delivering exceptional levels of service and operates to the highest quality standards in every aspect. It was an easy choice to work in collaboration with the theatre."
Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books and was Children's Laureate from 2003 - 05. A feature film of War Horse, based on his 1982 novel and directed by Stephen Spielberg, was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2011.