The Port of Dover has announced its sponsorship of the National Theatre's celebrated First World War play, War Horse on its UK tour at the The Marlowe Theatre this October.
The announcement was made yesterday (Monday 2 October 2017) at a charity launch event in the fitting location of the historic Old Marine Station (Cruise Terminal One). Constructed between 1912 and 1914, the Station was completed as the First World War swept across the battle fields of Europe. It played a central role in supporting Allied forces and saw five million troops and their equipment pass through it on their way to the European battle front. One and half million wounded soldiers returned through Dover including the Unknown Warrior now interred at Westminster Abbey.
Highlights from the launch event included a personal message from the author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, and appearances from the incredible stars of the show, War Horse Joey and the Songman. The 120 guests, including the Mayor of Dover, were also treated to vocal performances from the P&O choir and 100 children from local schools; Astor College, Deal; Canterbury College; Ethelbert Road Primary, Faversham; Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury and Wickhambreaux Church of England Primary.
A charity auction was held featuring fabulous lots donated by local businesses such as a Kuoni holiday to Indonesia, a luxury opera break, a White Cliffs weekend and tickets to see War Horse plus an on-stage meet and greet with the star horse, Joey.
All proceeds from the event and auction will be donated to the The Marlowe’s Creative Opportunities Fund. This fund enables The Marlowe to bring the community into the heart of its programme. Initiatives include bursaries for the venue's acclaimed youth theatre, workshops with professional artists, and tickets for schools.
Port of Dover Chief Executive Tim Waggott said: "This award-winning building, which has been painstakingly restored, is living history; a working monument to those who passed through here to fight for our freedoms and a poignant reminder of those who did not return. What better place to welcome and celebrate Michael Morpugo’s defining work War Horse?
"As the proud custodian of the magnificent Dover Marine Station, it is touching to see this part of its history so faithfully brought to life by the incredible work of The National Theatre and it is an absolute pleasure to sponsor their UK tour performance at The Marlowe Theatre."
Marlowe Theatre Director, Mark Everett said: "We are delighted the Port of Dover has come on board as sponsor of War Horse.
"With the Port's strong links with the First World War - links which are both moving and fascinating - there could be no better partnership. I know my colleagues at the National Theatre feel the same, and we all look forward to working together now and in the future."