Following eight record-breaking years in London’s West End and having played in 11 countries around the world to over seven million people, the National Theatre’s acclaimed play War Horse will make its trumphant return to Birmingham Hippodrome from Wed 10 Oct – Sat 3 Nov 2018.

To celebrate the show’s return to Birmingham in the Autumn ‘Joey’ – the beloved star of War Horse – paid a special visit to Birmingham’s Grade II listed Roundhouse – a former 19th century canal-side stables and store – to meet members of St George’s Church of England Primary School, who enjoyed a workshop lead by Birmingham Hippodrome’s creative learning team.

The former stables, in conjunction with various outbuildings, provided overnight accommodation for a total of 200 horses, a large number of which were sent requisitioned to serve the war effort during WW1.

Laura Smith, Head of Communications at Birmingham Hippodrome said: ‘It was a real joy to watch the children interacting with Joey in such an iconic local landmark as we bring the link between our creative learning work and shows closer. It’s incredibly humbling to think that so many of the former horses who worked on this site would have experienced a story remarkably similar to Joey’s. For many working horses of the period requisitioned to serve on the front, there was no escaping the harsh reality of war.  It’s been fascinating to walk in their footsteps for the afternoon and to commemorate their contribution to the war effort which began life right here in the heart of Birmingham.

Chris Maher, from Roundhouse Birmingham said: ‘We we’re delighted to welcome Joey and the children from (school name). The Roundhouse has a long and colourful history but it’s never seen anything quite like this. It was fantastic to see how the children reacted to Joey and hopefully they were also inspired by our amazing building. We hope to see lots more of them return once the Roundhouse is restored and opened to the public next year.’

Commenting on his experience, Shaun McKee, who pupeteers Joey’s head, added; “It’s beautiful to watch people react to Joey for the first time, whatever their age. Audiences come to the show expecting a puppet, but they see a horse. We’re very lucky to experience that feeling as actors night after night. It never gets old no matter how many times you do it.”

War Horse is an unforgettable theatrical event which takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France.

Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized horses, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses thrilling to life on stage.

War Horse visits Birmingham Hippodrome from Wed 10 Oct – Sat 3 Nov. For tickets and further information call 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com