Karen Krizanovich: An American Bitch in London


Forget Young Frankenstein in New York (most critics have tried to) – it is to sell your own grandmother to try to get a ticket to the hottest theatrical show in Londinium, War Horse at the National.

Anything vaguely horse-shaped already gets my nod (I was frogmarched out of the George Stubbs exhibition at the Tate), so I was keen to get a cheap seat (the only one left before 2008, believe it or not) at a matinee full of teeming teens and bored Home Counties wives.

What’s to say? The story – a brave horse goes to France in WWI followed by his trusty boyish owner – makes the horse more into a dog-like creature with human characteristics. The German commandment is like a telly presenter’s idea of a German officer and the ending is just… don’t get me started. But the puppets were to die for. And somehow it is reassuring to me that London’s glitterati are cramming the Olivier Theatre’s round stage to see, basically, two huge puppet horses, a mechanical goose and a pretty terrific ‘minimalist’ tank.

I love boiling down successful stage productions into that one droplet of what the sophisticate really enjoys: whether it’s Harry Potter in the buff, Nicole Kidman as ‘theatrical Viagra’ (that phrase still makes me want to plotz) or huge puppet horses that take five people to operate – one for the head, three for the body and one to swish the tail. Next we’ll be guffawing ironically to Sooty, Sweep and Soo at the Cottesloe…

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2 comments to “Karen Krizanovich: An American Bitch in London”

  1. *tears up ticket to War Horse*

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  2. I would like to see Sooty, Sweep and Soo: The Opera myself.

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