FARM Boy - the magical sequel to Michael Morpurgo’s much- loved War Horse makes its debut at Mansfield Palace Theatre on 20th October.
The story is set in Iddesleigh in Devon and tells the story of the changing face of the English countryside and centres on the bonds linking grandfather to grandson and ultimately both to the land.
The production, which is directed by Daniel Buckroyd, has already enjoyed a sell-out run at 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a successful 2010 UK tour and a run at 2011 Brits off Broadway festival in New York.
John Walters, who plays the grandfather, says that he is really looking forward to coming to Mansfield and believes the play is essentially about storytelling and should be enjoyed by the whole family.
“This isn’t just for kids, the play works best when it covers an audience of all generations, it is for families and how things get passed on over time,” he said.
“It is just myself and Gareth Bennett-Ryan(who plays the grandson) on stage so there is a simplicity to the play, so it is up to us to get the story across.
“I just think it’s a really good story and after 150 performances it is still very enjoyable.
“There is nothing better than telling a good story to an audience who hasn’t heard it before.”
The play is broken into three parts - the first is an intimate recap of War Horse (the epic tale of a boy’s love for his horse Joey) and the second recounts the story of the grandfather’s family since Joey’s return to the farm after the war.
The final part of the hour-long production centres on a wager between the grandfather and a rival farmer and, most poignantly, the grandfather’s ‘shameful’ secret that he can neither read or write.
“One thing I really wanted to get right was the West Country accent and get the character with that accent right,” added John.
“I’d encourage people to come along and bring their families.”