War Horse to Embark on 18-Month U.K. Tour | Playbill

International News War Horse to Embark on 18-Month U.K. Tour

The Tony-winning play was adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford from Michael Morpurgo's novel.

Peter Herman and Elliot Villar in War Horse

The National Theatre’s hit production of War Horse, the Tony-winning play based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, will embark on a new 18-month U.K. tour in September, continuing through 2026.

The forthcoming tour, led by Tom Morris with revival director Katie Henry, will open at the New Wimbledon Theatre September 5–14 and subsequently play The Lowry, Salford (September 18–28) Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (October 8–19), The Marlowe, Canterbury (October 22–November 2), Sunderland Empire (November 5–16), Theatre Royal Plymouth (November 26–December 7), and New Theatre Oxford (December 10, 2024–January 4, 2025), with future dates and casting to be announced.

War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford and originally directed by Marianne Elliott and Morris, is the most successful play in the history of the National, winning more than 25 major awards and having been seen by over 8.3 million people worldwide. The production features ground-breaking puppetry by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to vivid life on stage.

The forthcoming tour will also feature reimagined designs by Rae Smith and additional music by Adrian Sutton, puppet design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for the aforementioned Handspring, lighting design by Rob Casey, movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick with puppet direction by Matthew Forbes, animation and projection design by Nicol Scott for 59 Productions, songs by John Tams, sound design by Christopher Shutt, casting by Jill Green, and associate design by Will Fricker. 

War Horse tells the story of a young boy named Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of World War I. 

Director Morris said in a statement, “It is a huge privilege to be invited to revisit War Horse and to share this powerful story once more with audiences around the country. Michael Morpurgo’s brilliant idea, to explore the crushing violence of war through the experience of a horse, makes his story as powerful and resonant today as it has ever been. And in this time of increasing commercialism in theatre, it’s worth remembering that the production which carried War Horse to an international audience was a wild experiment, developed through workshops at the National Theatre Studio."

Author Morpurgo added, “I am so delighted the National Theatre’s iconic production of War Horse is back! When COVID closed the show down in 2020 in Australia in the midst of its second World Tour, many thought, and I was amongst them, that we’d never see War Horse on stage again. Now it’s really happening—we will hear the music and songs, be amazed by its design and lighting, live Joey’s story again. War Horse is about the tragedy of war and about a horse and his boy, but it's also so many other things—it's about family and community, courage and loss, hope, and most importantly reconciliation.”

War Horse received its world premiere October 9, 2007, at the National Theatre, where it played for two seasons before opening at the New London Theatre in March 2009. The Broadway production, which played the Vivian Beaumont March 15, 2011-January 6, 2013, received five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play. A separate film adaptation of Morpurgo's novel was directed by Steven Spielberg.

This new tour is co-produced with Michael Harrison, Fiery Angel, and Playing Field.

Visit WarHorseOnStage.com.

Look Back at Seth Numrich, Matt Doyle, and More in War Horse on Broadway

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