No horsing about

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after attending a performance of Warhorse, I overheard a young German mother talking about this fantastic production with her two sons. They talked about it with obvious fervour. As I passed them, I smiled and remarked to the mother: “You won’t forget Warhorse.” Her reply was emphatic: “No, never, never, never, never.”

It had indeed been an unforgettable theatrical experience – a production of such dramatic intensity that I was looking forward to a glowing review from Joyce McMillan. How exceptionally disappointing to find that she had so little to say about it (Weekend Life, 1 February) – just a paragraph describing (admittedly eloquently) the magnificent horse-puppets in the battle scenes and an acknowledgment that there were many other unforgettable scenes.

The remaining 80 per cent of her “review” consisted of a discourse on the advances in puppetry, referencing other productions in other theatres, returning to Warhorse with the closing epithet of “this beautiful and disturbing show”. It is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, who said: “The book is what it was, the play is the thing.”

If I could stand the expense, I would go back and see it ten more times, but it is sold out – and no wonder.

Colin Stirling-Whyte

Hainburn Park

Edinburgh

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