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24/06/2010

Comments

Nick Baxter

Dinner at the Rock and Sole, great fish and chips and well worth being charged 12 quid while sitting amongst the traffic. So War Horse - great reviews from a run at the national and moved to west end, advertised to death on the tube and Spielberg bought the film rights so it seemed about time we saw what the fuss was all about.

It runs at three hours and it’s about a boy and his horse. If you've seen the one with the boy and the kestrel, or the boy and a rat called Ben you will be on the right track. The boy develops a strong bond with furry friend; they are parted, go through all sorts of trials and are inevitably reunited at the end. It’s based on a book which normally in a play means they go on too long (remember Jane Eyre!!) and this is the case here it just goes on way too long. It is very 'west end' - big music, big in scale, there were even bits of slo mo which were really cringing. Far too much trying to be like a slick film. We didn't get the full screen experience due to our cheap seats but it was still clear the puppetry was impressive. At first is seems a novelty but after a while the movement of the horses is so accurate that you forget all about the men inside. It’s really, really impressive, quite an art really but after a couple of hours the novelty wears off and you hope there isn't too long left. All told it was ok, bit like a cross between black beauty and Sooty and Sweep but I really can’t believe the stories I’ve heard about people blubbing to this – it’s really cheesy surely no-one could be moved to tears by the tale of a horse made mostly from broomsticks.

Melanie

What Nick said. Engrossing at first, as you're impressed by the horses and straight forward storyline. Then storyline becomes drawn out and obvious and overly emotive. Isn't it one for kids, really?

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