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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke







The National Theatre today announces the cast for the internationally acclaimed production of WAR HORSE, based on Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel, which embarks on a major UK and Ireland tour from 05 September 2024, touring through to 2026.

The full cast of 35 includes: Rianna Ash (Joey/Topthorn head), Alexander Ballinger (Friedrich/Allan), Diany Bandza (Emilie/Baby Joey), Eloise Beaumont-Wood (Baby Joey), Ike Bennett (David Taylor/Thomas Bone), Haydn Burke (Billy Narracott/Heine/Klebb), Sophie Cartman (Matron Callaghan), Jo Castleton (Rose Narracott), Owen Dagnall (Geordie), Alexandra Donnachie (Joey/Topthorn head), Felicity Donnelly (Joey/Topthorn hind), Tom Gilbey (Sergeant Fine), Thomas Goodridge (Joey/Topthorn hind), Karl Haynes (Ted Narracott), Robin Hayward (Joey/Topthorn heart), Michael Larcombe (Joey/Topthorn hind), Matthew Lawrence (Joey/Topthorn head), Madeleine Leslay (Paulette/Sarah Carter), Jack Lord (Klausen), Damian Lynch (Carter/Strauss), Lewis McBean (Joey/Topthorn heart), Chris Milford (Joey/Tophorn heart), Jordan Paris (Baby Joey), Anne-Marie Piazza (Nell Allan/Schnabel), Tea Poldervaart (Joey/Topthorn head), Lucy Thorburn (Jenny Bone/Annie Gilbert), Gareth Radcliffe (Arthur Narracott/Sergeant Thunder), Daniel Rock (Captain Stewart/Ludwig), Tom Sturgess (Albert Narracott), Alistair So (Vet Martin), Simon Stanhope (Manfred), Gun Suen (Joey/Topthorn hind), Sally Swanson (The Singer), Chris Williams (Lieutenant Nicholls/Dr Schewyk) and Rafe Young (Joey/Topthorn heart).

WAR HORSE, adapted by Nick Stafford and originally directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, has become the most successful play in the history of the National Theatre, winning more than 25 major awards and has been seen by over 8.3 million people worldwide. This new tour is co-produced with Michael Harrison, Fiery Angel, and Playing Field.

WAR HORSE tells the remarkable story of a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of the First World War. This powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness, filled with stirring music and songs, featuring ground- breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping, charging, horses to thrilling life on stage and has inspired a generation of theatre-makers since its premiere in 2007.

The tour will be playing at:

New Wimbledon Theatre: 05 – 14 September 2024

Theatre Royal Plymouth: 26 November - 07 December 2024

Assisted performances are available throughout the run at each venue.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. Albert, who remained on his parents’ Devon farm, cannot forget Joey. Though still not old enough to enlist he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

This tour of WAR HORSE marks 110 years since the start of the First World War and follows the 40th anniversary of the publication of Michael Morpurgo’s global best-selling novel, which has now sold over 35 million copies world-wide and in 37 different languages.

Creative development for the tour has been led by Tom Morris with revival director Katie Henry, featuring reimagined designs by Rae Smith and additional music by Adrian Sutton. Puppet design and fabrication is by Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting design is by Rob Casey, movement and horse choreography is by Toby Sedgwick with puppet direction by Matthew Forbes. Animation and projection design is by Nicol Scott for 59 Productions, John Tams is songmaker and sound design is by Christopher Shutt. Casting is by Jill Green CDG. They are joined by associate designer Will Fricker and associate costume designer Johanna Coe; associate lighting designer Tom Turner; associate sound designer Rob Bettle, assistant sound designer Raffaela Pancucci, musical director Dom Coyote, voice coach Carol Fairlamb, dialect coach Rebecca Daltry, resident director Anna Marshall and assistant puppetry director Lewis Howard.

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 14 countries, including productions on Broadway, in Toronto and Berlin, with touring productions in the UK and Ireland, North America, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The National Theatre’s Partner for Financial Wellbeing, Charles Stanley, is supporting WAR HORSE on tour. WAR HORSE will visit Theatre Nation Partnerships venues, including The Lowry in Salford, Sunderland Empire, Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton Grand.

 All details in this article are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change


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