War Horse brought to life by pupils at Hartlepool secondary school

A Hartlepool school is staging an impressive production of the moving theatre show War Horse.

Dozens of staff and students at High Tunstall College of Science have been involved in bringing the production to life – including making a number of life-sized horse puppets.

It is part of the college’s commemorations marking the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.

War Horse tells the story of horse Joey which is sold to the Cavalry and plunged into the hell of the war, and his owner Albert’s mission to find him and bring him home.

The stage show has been seen by over seven million theatre goers having played in 11 countries and is currently touring the UK with the National Theatre.

Ellie Hopwood, second in creativity at High Tunstall, said: “Everyone has worked incredibly hard.

High Tunstall College of Science War Horse rehearsals

High Tunstall College of Science War Horse rehearsals

“The horses are remarkably realistic. We went to the Heugh Battery last Saturday for the Wintertide Festival and had quite a few children coming and petting the horse.

“When you work with it and it is responding to you, you can suspend your disbelief very easily.”

Around 30 pupils make up the cast with more helping behind the scenes.

A member of staff has produced a piece of film of her own horse which is incorporated in the show, along with animation and music by pupils.

High Tunstall College of Science students take aim for a scene from their production of War Horse

High Tunstall College of Science students take aim for a scene from their production of War Horse

Ellie added: “It takes place on the floor of the hall so the audience is very close.

“It is a big thing to do for them because High Tunstall has not done a play for quite a few years.

“A lot of the Key Stage 3 pupils helped making the horse so it has definitely been a wider school project.”

The theatre show is based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo and was turned into a Hollywood film by Steven Spielberg in 2011,

Young actors check the script for War Horse

Young actors check the script for War Horse

High Tunstall’s show is on tonight at 6.30pm.

Tickets are £3 and it is open to the general public who can pay on the door.

The production features puppet horses

The production features puppet horses

High Tunstall College of Science War Horse rehearsals

High Tunstall College of Science War Horse rehearsals