A Prom inspired by the National Theatre’s play based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, featuring a new suite created by Adrian Sutton from his score for the original production, as well as other music from the period with performers including the Proms Military Wives Choir & Gareth Malone.
Life-Size War Horse Puppets by the Handspring Puppet Company, Proms debut artist.
Cambiata North West
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell conductor
Without gushing too much, it’d be very hard to truly tell you about tonight’s performance. So I will. The performance was spell-binding, emotional, beautiful, visually incredible and audibly amazing.
Never have I believed a puppet to be real as I did tonight. The War Horse, foal and goose – all puppets worked by humans but to an extent that every movement and mannerism reflected the animal it purported to be. It wasn’t long before you forgot entirely that there were skilled puppeteers and believed the animals were truly there.
I’ve not yet seen the play The War Horse nor the cinematic version. I don’t feel I need to now either as tonight’s performance must surely top them both.
The inclusion of the Gareth Malone and the Military Wives Choir was inspirational. They became part of the story and, on the eve of centenary of the First World War made it all the more present and poignant for doing so.
Clever staging allowed for part of the floor of the auditorium to open up and bring up a canon which was fired during the performance, for soldiers to appear through a field of corn. There was snow to illustrate the length of the war through the seasons and the writer Michael Morpurgo on stage as a witness and then to hand out the ears of corn.
Truly an utterly brilliant performance on stage accompanied by the most incredible choices of music and song. I’m quite sure that I wasn’t the only person with a tear in my eye and a little choked at the emotive performance.