The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse will make a welcome return to the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from Wednesday 14 February to Saturday 10 March 2018, where it played to sell-out houses on its first tour in 2014.
On Tuesday 20 June, 2017 at 10.30am, Joey, the life-size equine puppet from War Horse will make a special appearance in Bradford’s City Park and will meet real horses from the West Yorkshire Police Mounted Section. One of the police horses is also called Joey (AKA Joseph), and there will be an opportunity to film and photograph puppet-horse and real horses meeting.
Chief Inspector Chris Bowen, who oversees the West Yorkshire Police’s Mounted Section said:
“War Horse highlights the bond and friendship between Joey and Albert, and as officers in the Mounted Section we feel we have the same unique bonds with our own horses. Whilst not out on a battle field during WW1, the horses and officers in our mounted section are often deployed to the front line of policing where they detect crimes, make arrests and help locate vulnerable people.
We are delighted to be invited to take part in today’s launch and bring our own Joey along to meet the equine puppet from the show. We regularly bring the team to Bradford on patrol and hope that people will come down and say hello whilst we’re in the City Centre.”
This extraordinary meeting will be followed by an on stage launch at The Studio Venue (adjacent to the Alhambra Theatre) at 12pm. Matthew Forbes War Horse’s Puppetry Director will lead a puppetry demonstration and talk about the history of the show alongside Joey.
Based at Carr Gate, the Mounted Section offer support to West Yorkshire Police in all manner of policing work, from policing football matches, demonstrations to community reassurance patrols and ceremonial events. The section has ten horses and works with a team of nine mounted officers. The horses in the section are called: Breeze, Connor, Coley, Clifton, Ledston, Ilkley, Joey (AKA Joseph), Marley, Otley and Seth. Joey is nine years old and has been on the section since 2011.
War Horse, which has been seen by over seven million people worldwide, and completed its recordbreaking eight year London run at the New London Theatre on 12 March 2016, has won 25 awards including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship, about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, set against the backdrop of the First World War is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history. It features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to life on stage.
Michael Morpurgo said: “After a few months rest, out at pasture, Joey, the War Horse and his great team from the National Theatre, will be touring the UK again, from 2017 through to 2018 and the centenary of the end of the First World War. The NT will be taking their show all over the country, to towns and cities, many of them places War Horse has not been seen before. I am so pleased this is happening; that so many more people will have the chance to enjoy this unique theatrical event. Steady boy, steady Joey. Trot on!”
War Horse is produced by the National Theatre - www.warhorseonstage.com