Simon Russell Beale presents the unique production at the Royal Albert Hall with Gareth Malone’s Proms Military Wives Choir, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Cambiata Choir North West, alongside the National Theatre Ensemble with the astonishing Handspring Puppets. There’s even a role for writer Michael Morpurgo as himself.
Composer Adrian Sutton’s War Horse Suite traces the story of Joey the horse from birth to death, the specially commissioned Some See Us is a haunting tribute to the young men slaughtered in World War I, and his elegiac Only Remembered bookends the show. Interweaved is music from composers influenced by the war, including Holst, Elgar and Ravel.
Simon Russell Beale goes behind the scenes as the production takes shape at rehearsals with National Theatre director Melly Still, Joey the horse journeys across the river from London’s Southbank to the Royal Albert Hall, and Michael Morpurgo reflects on this latest incarnation of his much-loved tale.
The imaginative staging projects live action and archive footage on to screens hung like tattered flags, and there are dramatic entrances, audience participation and a few surprises, adding up to an exciting and intensely moving show.