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War Horse rides back into Beijing

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-29 08:28
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The National Theater of Britain's widely successful production, War Horse, will return to Beijing from August 8 to September 9, and tour other Chinese cities. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In September 2015, the National Theater of Britain's widely successful production, War Horse, hit the Chinese stage in Beijing thanks to the National Theater of China.

Since then, the Chinese version of the adaptation has been touring around the country. With more than 200 shows and attracting audiences totaling more than 200,000, the production will return to Beijing from August 8 to September 9, which will be followed by performances in other Chinese cities, including Chongqing and Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.

"We return to the capital every summer since the play's premiere four years ago and the production has been acclaimed as a phenomenon by both critics and audiences," says Wang Tingting, co-director of the play in Beijing. "War Horse is a tale of hope and friendship against the backdrop of war. It caters to people of all ages and we worked hard on the translation, the script and the music to make the play resonate with Chinese audiences."

Based on British writer Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel of the same name, War Horse has proved to be the British theater's most successful play. It was first performed by the National Theatre at the Olivier Theatre in London in 2007 and had a seven-year run in the West End, toured 10 countries and was seen by more than 7 million people around the world.

In 2011, Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg, turned the World War I story about an English farm boy, Albert, and his beloved horse, Joey, into critically-acclaimed, box-office smash-which was subsequently nominated for six Oscars, including best picture.

Li Dong, a producer with the National Theater of China, says he first watched the play at the West End in August 2011 and was so impressed that he decided to bring it to China.

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