War Horse

"War Horse" is now over. We look forward to bringing you another show soon.

War Horse returns to theatre in London, bringing its powerful story line and incredible drama. Twelve years after its National Theatre debut, the critically acclaimed War Horse returns to London in 2019 at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Playing for a limited run in the brand new theatre space in London’s newest lifestyle hotspot, War Horse in theatre is an unforgettable experience.


At the outbreak of World War One, a young boy, Albert finds his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the Cavalry and sent to France. Soon caught up in enemy fire, fate takes Joey on an extraordinary journey which ends with him alone in no man’s land. Albert, who is not old enough to enlist and has remained on his parents farm in Devon, cannot forget Joey and embarks on his own treacherous mission to bring him home. Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo (and later adapted into the 2011 War Horse film), this powerfully moving and imaginative drama , filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized horses by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. War Horse in theatre takes audiences on a remarkable journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France.

Top ten facts about Joey

  1. Joey, the star puppet weighs 120lbs and was handcrafted by fourteen people; its frame is mostly made of cane, which has been soaked, bent to shape, and stained.
  2. It takes three puppeteers to control Joey: one at the head for the ears and head movement, one in the middle for breathing and front leg movement, and one the tail and back legs.
  3. Joey’s ears and tail, rather than the the lips or eyelids, are moveable, in order to reflect a horse’s main communication methods.
  4. Joey’s eyes have been specially made to sparkle at a distance with black resin encased in a clear resin to reflect light.
  5. Joey’s left hind lever will move the tail side-to-side, while the right hind lever will move the tail up and down. If you move them together, it creates a spiral.
  6. An aluminium frame runs along the puppet’s spine, allowing the horse to be ridden, and can weigh up to 300lbs with a rider.
  7. The puppeteer and the puppet are connected at the spine, so the puppeteers’ movement create a unique effect of breathing.
  8. Two levers connected with cables to a bicycle brake control the movement of Joey’s ears.
  9. The hair in Joey’s mane and tail is made from Tyvek, a plastic-like paper commonly used in construction.
  10. Rather like a real horse, Joey is 10ft long and 8ft high, with over 20 major joints to create life-like movement; he even has vertical levers to curl the knees and lift the hooves.