Drama trip to see War Horse

On Monday, Upper Fourth and Fifth Form Drama students travelled to the Brighton Centre to see War Horse, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel, part of the National Theatre tour.

The performance is relevant to the written component of our GCSE Drama examination as we have to answer questions relating to costume, lighting, sound, set design and acting. From my perspective, it was great to visualise how the puppeteers coordinated to maintain the liveliness of the horse Joey.

The contrast between safe and homely Devon, and war-torn France, was brought to life by Rae Smith’s captivating design. The portrayal of the battlefield was excellent but harrowing as the suffering of injured men and horses depicted only a fraction of the sacrifices made in the Great War.

We are required to design a key scene, therefore it was interesting to see the National Theatre’s staging choices and also useful to compare this touring production to the 2007 original. Despite having studied the play since last year, many of us were reduced to tears by the final scene when Joey is reunited with his rightful owner, Albert.

War Horse remains a powerful play that represents the strength of human nature, in the face of absolute adversity.

By Ross Plowman (P)


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