War Horse begins rehearsals, Sydney

War Horse - Photographer David Wyatt
War Horse – Photographer David Wyatt

The all-Australian cast of War Horse have commenced rehearsals today in Sydney ahead of a New Year’s Eve Opening Night at Arts Centre Melbourne.

After its Melbourne season, the show will transfer to Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on March 16 and will continue its Australian tour in Brisbane from July 6, 2012. No other tour dates have been announced at this stage.

It is understood that the company will rehearse in Sydney for two months before moving to Melbourne’s Regent Theatre stage in December prior to bumping into Arts Centre Melbourne.

Associate Puppetry Director Finn Caldwell says that while the three month rehearsal period is unusually long for theatrical productions, it is necessary as the show is incredibly rigorous and physical.

“It’s a bit like training a sports team,” said he told AussieTheatre’s Emily Paddon-Brown last year.

The task of puppeteering is too physically demanding to perform eight shows a week, so four rotating teams are employed as the two main horse characters.

Seen by over 2 million people world wide, War Horse has been a critical and box office success in London, Toronto and New York, winning numerous prestigious awards including two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Tony Awards and four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards.

The War Horse Australia Learning Programme will accompany the production on its Australian tour in an initiative taken by National Theatre of Great Britain’s.

Created for both children and adults, cross-curricular learning opportunities for schools, families and communities will be offered as well as a professional component designed to extend the skills of artists, industry professionals, tertiary students and provide professional development opportunities for teachers.

Through the exploration of the production’s themes, participants are able to learn more about Australia’s own involvement in WWI in an entirely new way providing creative opportunities for people to discover more about our history and the crucial role our own horses played in the war.

For more information on workshops and education events visit:



Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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