Born in 1959 within Staffordshire, UK, Nick Stafford is a creative freelance writer with nearly two decades writing experience (Royal Literary Fund para .1). Mainly developing scripts for theatrical plays, his skills also transcend to television and radio productions. Some of his published plays include Battle Royal (1999), Luminosity (2001), Love Me Tonight (2004), Katherine Desouza (2006), and the most notable to date, War Horse (2007) which officially opened at the National Theatre in London the same year (Royal Literary Fund para. 2).
The War Horse remains the original work of novelist Michael Morpurgo whose primary focus is to write literature targeting young people. In 2004, the process of converting the novel into a theatrical piece began at London’s National Theatre (Saunders para. 1). In Collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company, Director, Tom Morris commissioned Nick Stafford to prepare a stage adaptation for Morpurgo’s book, War Horse (Saunders para. 1). The playwright accepted to working on the intricate project given its brevity and the challenge that one of the protagonists was in essence a horse.
Though it is common for novels to be converted into stage adaptation, War Horse presented Nick Stafford with exceptional challenges. For instance, it was necessary to change the viewpoint from first person to third person as Joey, the horse, was not expected to take a narrator’s role (Saunders para. 2). In the original literature, the narrative is told via the horse’s internal thoughts yet the playwright was expected to ensure a silent horse as the plot continually unfolded in the absence of a narrator. To make this work, it was necessary for Stafford to ensure the storyline’s focus on an objectivist perception of war was maintained (Katsura para. 4). This required for Joey’s observations to serve as a vital aspect of the entire narrative. For example, in Joey’s eyes, people are not judged based on nationality but rather in respect to own actions towards ensuring emphasis on personal attributes as opposed to political affiliations consistent with the war. The demanded that the play’s characters be