Warhorse is the spectacular retelling of Michael Monpurgo’s heart-breaking novel of the same name. The stage show, originally performed at the National Theatre, is crafted so beautifully that it is a hard catch to find someone who wasn’t reduced to tears by this awe-inspiring production.
Upon arrival into the theatre, certain points of the foyer have been dressed to create the mood and set the scene for the show, with poppies draped over green tarpaulin and dressed with the prominent logo of the show. Upon reaching the press desk, I was given my programme and a pack of tissues. It’s little details like this that makes the theatre experience even more magical, so a huge thank you and congratulations are in order to the Regent for further engaging the audience and creating such an incredible atmosphere.
The staging is creative, considerate and colossal. The simplicity of the set just adds to the detail of the show. The main focal point being a torn shred of paper that has projections beamed on to it throughout, telling the stories and showing the time passing. This both effective and memorable and furthers the story wonderfully. The illustrations used are simply beautiful. Everything is done to such an immense standard that it is simply impossible to find fault. Every inch of the show is thought out with such fine detail and executed to a standard which has to be seen to be believed. Never before have I seen a stage show so captivating for people both young and old. The story so easily lends itself to the stage and the puppets are so realistic that within the first few minutes you forget that the animals are puppets at all. It is such an inspiring, captivating and creative piece of theatre.
The ensemble works remarkably hard to bring the show to life and it’s truly a marvel to watch. I say ensemble, as it’s hard to pinpoint one performance as every actor on that stage, is truly remarkable. However, Scott Miller as Albert is in a word outstanding. He is a strong leading man that carries the show through with such dignity and grace. His charm oozes through the character and he has the ability to make the audience laugh and break their hearts in a single line. His character is performed to absolute perfection. He’s a shining star in a constellation of the very brightest. I'd like to also acknowledge the casting directors for using actors with disabilities on stage, this shows how stunningly progressive this show is and Natalie Kimmerling is proof that no disability should ever hold you back. She was absolutely incredible! Just wow!
I take my hat off to the puppeteers who make it look easy, but in fact, every choreographed movement draws the audience further into the show and I truly have nothing but the utmost respect for them as they’re at the very top of their games. They carry this entire show and captivate the entire audience with the finest of details.
There is a reason this show is held in such high esteem and that’s because it is the most breathtakingly moving piece of theatre. Every aspect of the show is impeccable and with every second of the show I felt myself getting more drawn in and urging myself not to cry at the beauty, I was watching on the stage. If it was possible to give a show six stars, I would. It is an utterly unforgettable piece of theatre, I urge you to see it.
Reviewer: Leanne Rushton
Reviewed: 27th March 2019
North West End Rating: ★★★★★