War Horse is set to return to Southampton

THE National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse is set to return to Southampton, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal today.

The production, which our reviewer hailed “a thoroughbred champion” and “one of the greatest productions ever staged”, played to packed houses with standing room only on its first visit to Mayflower Theatre in February 2014.

It will now return from May 16 to June 9, 2018, with tickets expected to fly out when they go on sale later this month.

The visit is part of a major tour of War Horse which coincides with the centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War and follows the production’s enormously successful tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013-2014.

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 life on stage.

War Horse received its world premiere on October 9, 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 and Belgium. A Chinese-language production opened in Beijing last year and is currently running in Shanghai.

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 2018 and the centenary of the end of the First World War. 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!”

Michael Ockwell Mayflower Theatre’s chief executive added: “I am thrilled to be bringing War Horse back to Southampton after its sell out run in 2014. It is rightly appropriate that the show runs here bookending the centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War. The show will amaze, move and educate a new generation once again.”

Tickets for War Horse go on general sale from Friday, January 27. Phone 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk.

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