War Horse

This past weekend my husband and I went up to NYC to visit his sister, brother-in-law and their 11 month old twins. My sister-in-law got us tickets to the show War Horse for Saturday night, which turned out to be a really good thing for other reasons that will be covered in a future post that will be going up once I get my pictures from the pictures from the weekend off my camera. This post however is reserved for War Horse.

My husband and I both enjoy the theatre so it’s nice to be able to be able to take advantage of having relatives to stay with in NYC while taking in a shows in the inarguably best city for live theatre in the country. I had a long list of shows I was interested in seeing, but ticket availability and my husband’s choice led us to War Horse.

War Horse won the Tony for best play this year, and after seeing a scene from it during the awards ceremony I was definitely excited to see it. What turned out even better, at least for me, was the fact that the show was not on Broadway, but instead playing in Lincoln Center. I am not a huge fan of masses of people, so needless to say NYC is not really one of my favorite places in the world. Though I like many of the cultural experiences available to me in NYC, it is just far too crowded for my taste. Going near the Broadway/Times Square area on a weekend night particularly during the Christmas season has nightmare written all over it for me, so I was happy to find out we wouldn’t have to deal with that particular drama. Instead we had dinner and then took a nice stroll down Broadway the 30 blocks from where my in-laws live down to Lincoln Center.

The show itself was just as incredible as I had imagined it would be. The story is based on a young adult novel of the same name. It takes place just before and during World War I in England and France. A young farm boy in England comes into a possession of a horse who he trains and who essentially becomes his best friend only to see his father sell the horse to the army for money after the start of the war. The underage boy then sneaks off to join the army and get sent over to the frontlines in France where he hopes to locate his beloved horse. The story is moving, but what is truly incredible about this show are the horses, which are all created through giant wooden framed puppets. The puppeteers are amazing. They truly capture the movements of a horse down to the littlest things such as the subtle movements its body makes while breathing. It’s not long before these puppets which only rudimentarily look like horses begin to seem entirely real and you don’t even notice the most visible of the puppeteers. You can get a little bit of a sense of what it’s like from the video below, but it really is much better in person. If you ever have the opportunity to see the show I highly recommend it. I’m interested now in going to see the movie version of the book, which opens in movie theaters on Christmas Day in order to see how the two adaptations are similar and different.

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