Globe theatre critic Peter Grant catches up with an old pal called Joey - the star of War Horse galloping to the Empire for a three-week run.

THE UK and international tour of War Horse sees a 34-strong cast and 26 crew members bringing Michael Morlurgo's novel to life.

Scott Miller, who graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, will play the male hero Albert Narracott while the equally-acclaimed star Ben Murray plays the 'Songperson.'

War Horse is returning to the Empire for the much-awaited North West run of its UK tour.

Following eight record-breaking years in London's West End, the National Theatre's timeless classic is back by popular demand.

It has been a runaway success since it first opened to standing ovation applause at home and abroad for its sheer artistry.

To celebrate this much-awaited return to Merseyside, the producers and Empire Theatre decided to give school children the chance to meet the cast and crew at a special launch at Liverpool's Central Library ahead of the performances which start on Wednesday, July 31.

The multi-award winning play with music has been seen by nearly eight million people worldwide and continues to attract fans of all ages.

It has won a stunning 25 awards.

Local school children enjoyed a masterclass in puppetry from the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company of Cape Town and they became young reporters at a unique question and answer session with the technical team.

Dianne Balding, Empire Theatre director, told the Globe: "I am delighted that the incomparable War Horse is returning following its sensational success here two years ago.

"We can't wait to be swept up in the drama once more."

Author Michael Morpurgo is equally thrilled.

He said: "I am so pleased this is happening and that so many more people will have the chance to enjoy this unique theatrical event.

"Trot on, Joey!"

War Horse is based on the heart-wrenching novel and has proved an ongoing, must-see experience with theatre- goers of all ages with its moving and imaginative story featuring stirring music and songs.

It is inspired by the real life war horses who were a vital part of the War effort from 1914 to 18.

At the heart of the production are life-sized puppet horses who recreate the true horrors of the inhumanity of The Great War.

The story takes the audience on a journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of the First World War in France.

Fans of this emotion-packed drama include Stephen Spielberg who commissioned a feature film after seeing the stage version.

Other War Horse admirers include the Queen and Prince Philip.

And it has many fans from the world of show biz including Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, William Shatner, Madonna, Sting, Gary Barlow and Liverpool's Kim Cattrall.

From the Horse's Mouth... The Globe's Five Facts about War Horse:

  1. The drama has 23 puppets including a bad- tempered goose.
  2. The horses are hand-made by 14 craftsmen and women.
  3. The horse puppets weigh 43 kilos and they are made of cane and leather and the torso is reinforced with aluminium to carry a rider.
  4. A Chinese language version opened at the National Theatre of China's thestre in Beijing in 2015.
  5. It has played to 97 cities in 11 countries.

War Horse is at the Liverpool Empire from July 31 to August 17.

Tickets from 08448713017 or

Details from