SPECTACULAR life-size horse puppets, an all-male drag dance troupe and Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta are just three of the main attractions heading to Edinburgh’s King’s and Festival theatres, it was announced today.
Speaking at the launch of the theatres’ autumn season, chief executive Duncan Hendry revealed that, following two sold-out seasons at the National Theatre and a run on London’s West End, the National’s award-winning production of War Horse will tour to the Festival Theatre in early 2014 – its only Scottish dates.
Acclaimed as the “theatrical event of the decade”, and based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same name, War Horse brings breathing, galloping, full-scale horses to life on stage. It tells the story of a horse named Joey. At the outbreak of the First World War, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He is soon caught up in enemy fire. Fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.
Producer Chris Harper said: “War Horse is a life-affirming story about friendship, courage and family, which appeals to all ages. We get people coming back again and again and they always have the same reaction. It awakens something in you.”
Also announced this morning was the return of the cult drag ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to the Festival Theatre next February, and the Edinburgh debut of Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta, who will appear in two exclusive performances of On Before, featuring new and existing choreography by some of the world’s leading choreographers, in April.
Mr Hendry said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing these three world-class productions to Edinburgh. This will be the only opportunity to see these companies in Scotland and hopefully these visits demonstrate the ambition we have for the programming of international work at our venues.”
Other highlights coming to the King’s include the hit West End stage version of The Ladykillers, and the first ever national tour of The Mousetrap. At the Festival Theatre, the autumn season is headlined by the musical I Dreamed a Dream, the story of Susan Boyle.
Liam Rudden: War Horse a major coup
SECURING War Horse is a major coup for the Festival Theatre and a very exciting piece of programming.
It is a spectacular piece of theatre and I predict it will sell out, replicating the success of One Man, Two Guvnors, the last National Theatre production to tour to the Capital. With The Ladykillers and The Mousetrap coming to the King’s, we have three heavyweight shows which, following the announcement that the King’s is to operate for up to 40 weeks a year, herald a renaissance for the city’s theatres.
• For full season details see www.edtheatres.com