With tears flowing at the end, my 11 year old daughter and I had sat through the most remarkable performance. War Horse is a powerfully emotional and beautiful story that both depicts the horrors of war and the bonds of love between family, friends, comrades and the animals that helped the war effort in World War One.
Despite the subject matter it was perfectly told for an 11 year old to understand. The puppetry is quite remarkable and holds the attention of child and adult alike. As the performance goes on you almost stop seeing the actors who are in the horse figures and believe there are horses on stage. At the same time the set design and clever use of lighting brought the noise and terror of war to life as well as life on a farm.
You don’t have to have read the book or know too much about this period of time to get drawn into the lives of the characters and the challenges they face. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had as a parent.
My daughter, who found Frozen very emotional was scared in the Jungle Book, sat through the whole performance transfixed by what she saw on stage. There were moments when she gripped onto me when there were sad scenes or noisy battle scenes but for the most part she kept whispering, “this is amazing". I would definitely recommend this to parents and kids of Year 6 and above.