Monday, September 30, 2013

"War Horse" in Vancouver

I was excited to see "War Horse", the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's novel. What makes the play unique is the fact that the central character is Joey, a horse, who goes to war with the British cavalry in 1914. Brought to life by the amazing puppets that play the horses, as designed by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, the horses steal the show. They buck and rear, they snort, and they gallop--straight toward the audience in a sequence that transports watchers to the bitter fields of artillery-torn France.
There are explosions and gunfire aplenty, and a strong scene where Joey is caught on the wire in No Man's Land. The novel was written for young readers and comes with a Hollywood ending, with many a tear trickling down cheeks in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
The performance I attended was a matinee, so I wondered for a while if there might not be school children attending, but that was not the case. There was an awful lot of grey hair on display, with most members of the audience middle-aged or older. Too bad, as there is lots in the story to hint at some of our at times bloody history.

To read my prize-winning novel about real war horses, and the men that rode them, see "Soldier of the Horse" here.


Sincere Endeavour said...

Glad you got to see this production, Bob. Perhaps a Millennial, who has the feeling you express on the value of the story's content, could create an "App" for it.

Robert Mackay said...

Sincere--thanks for the comment. Do you mean an actual video of the play? The movie of course is already out there.

Lamont said...

You mention the strong scene where the horse is caught on the wire in No Man's Land, true it was strong but your description of the cavalry charge in Soldier of the Horse is overwhelming...a soldier, his horse and his comrades, and you take us there.

Robert Mackay said...

Thanks, Lamont. From the day I first thought about writing the "Soldier of the Horse" story, I knew what the climactic scene would be. And I was fortunate to be able to walk the ground, which helped.

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