Members of the cast of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse made a special visit to Evelina London Children’s Hospital on Wednesday 16 December.
War Horse thrilled patients and staff who were amazed to see Joey, the life-sized puppet horse trotting through the hospital. One pupil, 11-year-old Luca Ambrosone, gave Joey a thank you card saying it was the best day of his life.
Joey was joined by members of the West End cast, including James Backway as Albert and Ben Murray as Song Man. The cast gave out gifts and entertained the children and staff with Christmas carols and songs from the show while Joey tapped his hooves in time with the music.
Actor James Backway said: “We were all so excited to have the opportunity to bring a little bit of Devon sunshine to children who we know are all being really brave. It’s not an easy time to be in hospital if you are an adult, but for a child at Christmas, it must be particularly difficult.”
Marian Ridley, Director of Evelina London added:”It was great to welcome the National Theatre, our Southbank neighbours, to Evelina London. The performance was a wonderful surprise for the children we care for and it was lovely to see the faces of our young patients when they saw Joey coming through the hospital.”
The visit marked the screening of NT Live’s filmed version of the multi-award winning production of War Horse at the MediCinema at St Thomas’ Hospital, London later that evening.
MediCinema, an independently funded charity at St Thomas’ Hospital screens a wide range of films for patients, their families and carers to allow them to switch off from the reality of their hospital stay and treatment.
The National Theatre’s production of War Horse adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling novel by Nick Stafford is a story about a boy and his horse set in Devon and France, and against the backdrop of the First World War and running at the New London Theatre in the West End until 12 March 2016.