This afternoon we went on our annual “surprise” family Christmas outing, and managed to keep a lid on it right up until the moment we arrived at the theatre entrance in George Street, Oxford. I beckoned our youngest into the road to stand alongside me and look up at the huge poster adorning the side of the building. Her whisper and excitement was heard by everybody nearby, and brought everybody to a standstill –
It’s probably worth noting that I have not read the book, seen the movie, or anything of the stage play either. The children had seen it on the stage in London, and at the cinema. They could have warned me I would need tissues. Granted, I’m often the softest grown-up in the place, but oh my word…
Quite apart from me falling to pieces more than once, I have to mention – as everybody else has – about the genius of the puppeteers that bring the horses to life. To begin with it was pure wonder, but as the play went on I completely accepted them as horses on the stage. Another shout out has to go to the cast – particularly the narrator, or “Song Man”, played by a famous folk musician called Bob Fox.
If you’ve not seen the stage version, perhaps this video might help explain just how good it is:
If you ever get the chance to see it on-stage, take it.