Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, February 05, 2010

War Horse...

Last night Stu, Mark, Mark's work mate Sarah and I went to the New London Theatre Drury Lane in London's glitzy West End to see War Horse.

It would be difficult to imagine a production of greater ambition and complexity - for all the animals in the show, including the full-sized horses, are puppets.

One soon gets used to this grand deceit though and accept the sight of two men in a horse body and someone moving the head - for these are no pantomime horses. They are intricately contrived mechanical devices that manage to convey a horse's movements and mannerisms perfectly. So much so that one soon forgets that they are puppets and the story begins to shine through. And what a story it is.

Based on Michael Morpurgo's best-selling book War Horse recounts the adventures of a horse, Joey, as he moves from life on a farm into the battles of World War 1 on the Western Front. It is a story of a friendship lasting through the toughest of tests.

In the First World War, along with the dreadful toll of human lives, there were other casualties too – some two million horses. They were used as cavalry horses, for pulling guns and ambulances; in the battlefields of the Western Front they were essential to the armies on both sides. At the end of the war most of our surviving horses were sold off to French butchers.

A powerful story, well told.

And, no, I didn't blub. Although many did.

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