War Horse production returns to Salford’s Lowry to commemorate start of WWI

Mancunians will be encouraged to get in the saddle this summer as the start of World War One is being commemorated with the National Theatre’s production of War Horse.

The production, based on the book of the same name from 1982, is set against the backdrop of World War One and has begun its unprecedented nine week return at the Lowry in Salford.

Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel, described as ‘an anthem for peace’, tells the powerful and uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey and the unimaginable obstacles they overcome both individually and together during the Great War.

Speaking about the production, Michael said: “Hand on heart, War Horse is not just the story of the horse.

“It is the story of all the men who fought in that Great War, and who died in it, and who were wounded forever by it, in their mind or in their body.”

The National Theatre adapted War Horse for the stage in 2007, which has been viewed by more than five million people worldwide.

At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

And the National Theatre continue their unique relationship with Manchester Central Library as Joey, the life-size puppet horse and star of the show, will make special appearances at War Horse Close Up at on Saturday July 26.

War Horse Close Up is a day of themed activities devised by the National Theatre and Manchester Libraries, Archives & Information Service, marking the centenary of World War I by exhibiting some of the Library’s remarkable World War I archives.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: “War Horse Close Up will be a very special day of activities.

“It will make the most of Central Library’s interactive Archives+ Centre to help bring World War I to life for a new generation.”

The day will include activities such as puppet making, film animation and drama workshop.

And under 16’s will receive free tickets to see War Horse in August, whilst children are on their school holidays.

To book ring 0843 208 6000, or visit

Image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, with thanks

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