The National Theater of Great Britain’s epic WAR HORSE, winner of five 2011 Tony Awards including Best Play, made its Nashville premiere last night in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall, and it did not disappoint. The amount of talent that goes into making this show a success is astronomical, pure mind-boggling.
On a whim, sixteen-year-old Albert’s dad, the town drunk, spends his mortgage money to buy a foal, just to spite his brother who wanted to buy the baby horse. The horse isn’t profitable for Albert’s family. The foal is a hunting horse, not a farm horse, and Albert’s cousin who is still bitter that Albert got the horse instead of him, formulates a plan to win back the horse. Joey (the horse) has been entered into a bet: Joey has one week to become a farm horse, or Albert’s dad will sell the horse to his brother in an effort to recoup his losses and pay the mortgage.
Albert only has 1 week to train his beloved horse how to wear a harness, and pull a plow. Albert’s dad promises if Albert can get his horse to deliver, he won’t ever sell him. Albert, determined not to lose his beloved horse, delivers. He makes Joey into a working horse, and Albert’s dad wins the bet, and reclaims the money he originally paid for Joey.
However, that promise is short lived as war is declared, and Albert’s drunk dad sells the horse to the army for a very large sum of money.
Albert, too young to enlist in the war, can only watch as his best friend is taken away from him, and headed straight toward enemy fire. Albert vows to Joey, he will find him, and they will be together again.
This story exudes the power of love, drips devotion, and dedication, and sheer, pure will wins out, as we watch Albert travel to ‘No Man’s Land’ to find his horse, but what will he find when he gets there?
The puppeteers in this show bring life to these horses, and it’s nothing short of remarkable. They breathe, sigh, gallop, make life like sounds, their ears and tails move, and can even support a rider! It takes 3 puppeteers to make 1 full-size horse come to life, so their every move has to be perfectly in sync with the others to operate these massive puppets. It truly is a magical experience to watch these puppets come to life.
War Horse will be playing at TPAC through Sunday, June 8th, so get your tickets now if you want to be a part of the War Horse experience. You can click here for more information.