School Workshops: the War Horse Story

Date Posted: 14/01/2014

Production shot from War Horse

The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and St Barbe Museum in Lymington, Hampshire have created a joint project, enabling school groups to participate in visual and performance arts in response to an exhibition at the museum and the touring production of War Horse.

Home Lad, Home is an exhibition that was inspired by the novel War Horse by Michael Morpurgo and its subsequent hit stage version.

The exhibition at St Barbe Museum is part of a wider youth-arts project developed in partnership with the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

The idea behind the workshop concept

The workshop was born out of two related events in the region - The National Theatre’s stage production of War Horse, which visits the theatre from 19th February to 15th March on its UK tour; and the corresponding exhibition at St Barbe, which is just one of a number of events in the area marking the centenary of World War One.

The workshops, which can be arranged after a visit to the exhibition and/or the show, are based on school premises. Local drama and puppetry practitioners, trained by the National Theatre, will work with school groups to create a new show inspired by the themes and techniques within the War Horse stage production.

About the exhibition

Home Lad, Home will run from 1st March to 26th April, and follows horses from peacetime occupations to the Remount Depots and on into active service. The exhibition will mainly focus on work by four artists who have recorded the preparation of civilian horses for war: Lucy Kemp-Welch, Cecil Aldin, Lionel Edwards and Alfred Munnings.

Home Lad Home will tell the story of the Remount Service depots at Romsey and Swaythling and will feature paintings by Edwin Noble on loan from the Imperial War Museum, which portray the sometimes harrowing experience of horses on the Western Front, and revealing the horses’ contribution to the war effort in a remarkable and moving story.

Artist James Aldridge at work.

On display will also be newly commissioned work by resident artist, James Aldridge (pictured).

James’ work will offer a contemporary response to the story and material within the exhibition, and will be displayed alongside the work of young artists from a local school who have also been developing their own creative responses by working closely with James.

As well as supporting young people’s access to quality visual arts, the project aims to give students access to high quality theatre at schools across the New Forest.

To find out more or to follow the project please click here.

A school visit to St Barbe

Schools and groups are able to book a self-guided visit or a facilitated half day or whole day programme called ‘Explore: Connect: Create’ to St Barbe Museum and Gallery and the exhibition.

Through ‘Explore: Connect: Create’ pupils on a school trip will be given the opportunity to respond creatively and critically within a gallery environment.

St Barbe offers practical activities to explore ideas, methods and processes, such as print making, mark-making, collage and sculpture.

Handmade sketchbooks within the Home Lad, Home exhibition should allow children to record the things that interest them using a range of materials.

School visits to St Barbe are tailored to meet the needs of your class. The museum welcomes a wide range of ages, from Key Stage 1 upwards, with sessions starting at £26 per hour for a group of up to 30 pupils.

To discuss a visit to St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery contact Bryony Waterman, community engagement and learning on 01590-676969 or e-mail

For information about the Mayflower Theatre’s programme of War Horse puppetry workshops and events, contact Mike Evans, community and education assistant on 023-80-71 1803 or e-mail

For further school trip information visit

Image credit on previous page: Simon Annand.

School Travel Organiser's Guide