Rehearsals began this week for the 34-strong cast of a major tour UK tour of the National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of War Horse, which begins performances on 15 September 2017 (with press night on 3 October) at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and continues on a 15 city tour until February 2019.
Thomas Dennis, fresh from playing Christopher Boone in the National Theatre’s West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will play the central role of Albert Narracott with fellow Curious cast member Jo Castleton as his mother Rose Narracott. Celebrated folk musician, Bob Fox, returns as Song Man. They are joined by: Marcus Adolphy(Carter), Adam Barlow (Greig/Schweyk/Sergeant Fine), Peter Becker (Friedrich), Joelle Brabban (Emilie), Lucas Button(Joey Hind), Jasper William Cartwright (Billy/Heine/Klebb), Chris Charles (Joey/Topthorn Heart), Jonathan Charles(Bone/Vet Martin), Sebastian Charles (Topthorn Heart), Anna Chessher (Joey/Topthorn Head), Nicky Cross (Joey/Topthorn Hind), Max Gallagher (Geordie), Chris Garner (Allan/Manfred), Andrew Hodges (Sergeant Thunder), Lewis Howard (Joey Heart), William Ilkley (Arthur Narracott), Ben Ingles (Lt Nicholls), Billy Irving (Goose/Schnabel), Elan James (Topthorn Hind),Kiran Landa (Annie Gilbert), Gwilym Lloyd (Ted Narracott), Jack Lord (Klausen), Stephen Love (Topthorn Head), Toyin Omari-Kinch (David), Samuel Parker (Joey/Topthorn Hind), Tom Quinn (Joey/Topthorn Head), Domonic Ramsden(Joey/Topthorn Heart), Arinder Sadhra (Paulette), Tom Stacy (Joey Head), Elizabeth Stretton (Matron Callaghan), Simon Victor (Stewart/Heine/Ludwig).
War Horse is rehearsing in London in a 470 square meter rehearsal space, custom built by MDM Props, to accommodate the large company.
War Horse, which has been seen by over seven million people worldwide, completed its record-breaking eight year London run at the New London Theatre on 12 March 2016. It has won 25 awards including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship, about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of the First World War is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history. It features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage.
War Horse received its world premiere on 9 October 2007 at the National Theatre, where it played for two seasons before opening at the New London Theatre in March 2009. Since then, War Horse has been seen in 97 cities in 10 countries, including productions on Broadway, in Toronto and Berlin, with touring productions in the UK and Ireland, North America, the Netherlands, Belgium and China.
Michael Morpurgo said: ‘After a few months rest, out at pasture, Joey, the War Horse and his great team from the National Theatre, will be touring the UK again, from 2017 through to 2019 and the centenary of the end of the First World War, taking their show all over the country, to towns and cities, many of them places War Horse has not been seen before. I am so pleased this is happening; that so many more people will have the chance to enjoy this unique theatrical event. Steady boy, steady Joey. Trot on!’
War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.
Katie Henry is the revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director. They are joined by resident puppetry director, Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.
The tour of War Horse coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War and follows the production’s sold-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013-2014.
War Horse is produced on tour by the National Theatre.