59 Productions did the video design for the delightful War Horse. It has been running for a few weeks now: Better-late-than-never with my customary company-aggrandizing review round-up.
Michael Billington of the Guardian enjoyed his four-starred evening at the National, and his colleague at The Observer, Susannah Clapp, predicts a success:
War Horse will be one of the National’s biggest ever hits: it is inventive, distinguished and it makes audiences cry.
Charles Spencer describes the show stealing puppets in the Telegraph:
Joey and the other horses in the show are truly magnificent creations by the Handspring Puppet Company which don’t aim for picturesque realism but with their wooden framework, translucent fabric skins, and extraordinary mobility somehow capture the very essence of everything equine.
And Christopher Hart in the Sunday Times explains just how compelling the horses are:
This is acting of the highest order, inhabiting an entirely different character and bringing him to life before your eyes. It just so happens this character isn’t human
And check out Sam Marlowe in the week-day Times:
Now and then the theatre throws up a piece of work so exhilarating that it makes you rejoice to be alive
I suppose, in a way, its a shame that the technical achievements of projecting onto a 20 metre strip of scenerywere glossed over by the reviewers. But this is a very blinkered outlook. In fact, all design aspects, top-notch though they are, must play second saddle to the horses… as indeed do the performances of the actors playing human characters! The appearance of Joey and Topthorne always get the biggest cheers at the curtain calls, and it is the puppetry that provides all of the stunning coup d’theatres that punctuate the show. Do go and see it if you get the chance. If you miss the current run, I hear it will be revived later in 2008.