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The National Theatre's War Horse: Facts And Figures

Monday 05 August 2013

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The National Theatre's War Horse currently performing at the New London Theatre has clocked up some amazing awards already.

The National Theatre's War Horse: Facts And Figures

★  War Horse received its World Premiere at the National Theatre on 9 October 2007 and played in the Olivier for 92 performances until 14 February 2008 and was seen by over 104,000 people.

★  War Horse returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from 10 September 2008 - 18 March 2009 for a total of 114 performances and was seen by a further 130,000 people.

★  War Horse transferred to the West End in 2009 with its first performance at the New London Theatre on 28 March 2009. War Horse is currently booking until 26 October 2013 at the New London Theatre.

★  In February 2011 the 1 millionth patron to see the production in London met with writer Michael Morpurgo and was photographed with horses Joey and Topthorn.

★  As of April  2013, more than 1.7 million people will have seen War Horse in London, with over 4 million seeing the production worldwide.

★  War Horse has been seen by The Queen, Prince Phillip, Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Harry as well as other famous faces including Michael Caine, Rupert Everett, Ethan Hawke, James Earl Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Keira Knightley, Annie Lennox, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Meg Ryan, Will Smith, Steven Spielberg, Hilary Swank, Alec Baldwin, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Diana Ross, Diane Keaton, William Shatner, Barbara Walters, Hugh Jackman, Ricki Lake, Kate Winslet, George Lucas, Blythe Danner, Joan Rivers, John McEnroe, Queen Latifah, Martin Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Billy Crystal, Sting, Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Angela Lansbury, Elaine Stritch, Michael Buble, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Martin Clunes, Liza Minnelli, Nicole Scherzinger and Gary Barlow.

★  The New York production of War Horse opened on 14 April 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center and ran until 6 January 2013.

★  Having seen the show at the New London Theatre, Steven Spielberg turned War Horse into a film starring Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Emily Watson. The film premiered in January 2012.

★  In February 2012 War Horse opened at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, and ran until 6 January 2013.

★  A US tour of War Horse began in Los Angeles on 14 June 2012  visiting places such as San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Washington, Chicago and Seattle.  The tour will continue to visit venues around North America throughout 2014.

★  An Australian production opened at the Melbourne Arts Centre State Theatre on 31 December 2012 and then toured to Sydney and Brisbane.

★  In October 2013 a German language production called Gerfärhten will open at the historic Theater des Westens in Berlin

★  A tour of the UK and Ireland will begin in September 2013

★  The puppets in War Horse were created by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, based in Cape Town.

★  It takes eight months to build a complete set of puppets for War Horse; they are handmade by 14 craftsmen and women.

★  The finished horse puppets weigh approximately 43 kilos for the body, including the puppeteers' backpacks, and another 7.7 kilos for the head. They are made of cane, leather and tyvec, a material used in book-binding (for the manes and tails). The torso is reinforced with aluminium and able to carry a rider on top.

★  Joey, Topthorn and Joey as a Foal are each operated by three puppeteers - the Head, the Heart and the Hind. The three puppeteers work together to create the character of each horse and to produce the horse noises. 

★  Puppeteers train for eight weeks before they begin performing. Their training includes basic principles of puppetry before they work specifically on creating the horses.

★  War Horse has 23 puppets, including horses Joey and Topthorn, as well as a goose, two swallows and two crows.  

★  War Horse runs for approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes including one interval

★  Suitable for 10 years plus

★  Over 850 people have been employed world-wide on War Horse

★  On 25 October 2012 War Horse celebrated 5 years since it originally opened at the National Theatre. The celebrations at the New London Theatre were attended by an audience including Olympians, Paralympians, actors, sports stars and presenters

UK Awards War Horse has won

★  2007 Evening Standard Award for Set Design - Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company

★  2007 Critics' Circle Award for Set Design - Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company

★  2007 Laurence Olivier Awards for Set Design - Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company

★  2007 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Theatre Choreographer - Toby Sedgwick

★  2012 Whatsonstage Best West End Show Award

US Awards War Horse has won

★  2011 Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play

★  2011 Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play - Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris

★  2011 Outer Critics' Circle Award Outstanding Lighting Design - Paule Constable

★  2011 Outer Critics' Circle Special Achievement Award - Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler

★  2011 Drama Desk Special Award for Thrilling Stagecraft

★  2011 World Theatre Award - Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence -Seth Numrich

★  2011 Broadway.com Audience Awards Favourite Play

★  2011 Drama League Awards - Distinguished Production of a Play

★  2011 Special Tony Award - Handspring Puppet Company

★  2011 Tony Award - Best Play

★  2011 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play - Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris

★  2011 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play - Rae Smith

★  2011 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Play - Paule Constable

★  2011 Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Play - Christopher Shutt

Canadian Awards War Horse has won

★  2012 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards Best Design - The creative team of War Horse

★  2012 Toronto Dora Awards Outstanding Costume Design - Rae Smith, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring

Puppet Company for War Horse

★  2012 Toronto Dora Awards Outstanding Choreography - Toby Sedgwick for War Horse

★  2012 Toronto Dora Awards Audience Choice Award - War Horse

US Tour Awards War Horse has won

★  2012 Best Presented Production - LA Ovation Awards

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