For my Arts Award I am reviewing the west end show War horse, I attended the show on the 13th of January 2018 at the Brighton centre. Although I am doing photography for my arts award I wanted to review war horse for its unique cinematic techniques and narrative. The show is originally a book written by Michael Morpurgo in 1982,the book is set in both France and England during World War 1 and follows the plot of young Albert trying to bring home his horse Joey who was sold to the British Army by his father. The book has also had a film adaptation in 2011 which was directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was nominated for two golden globe awards and five BAFTA’s.
The West End adaptation used a mixture of techniques to help the audience envision themselves in world war 1 which not only helped viewers understand the experience of past soldiers but also create a relationship between the characters and audience. The show done this by using dark lighting and smoke to enhance the characters on stage but also created a gloomy war atmosphere, the use of gunshots and war cries around the audience made the show more surreal to the audience.
I enjoyed this west end adaptation as it made me feel as if I was experiencing the war myself and helped me understand the pain of war and how it effects people. The show included multiple narratives from both the British and German side, this illustrated how the war effected more than just the winning side and how even though the soldiers were on opposite sides they still had the same traumatic experience. Furthermore, by including the character ‘Emily’, a young French girl who meets joey, the show emphasised not only how the soldiers were effected but also innocent civilians, this use of multiple narratives made the show more interesting as the audience had different characters they could establish a personal relationship with.