They Hire Horses, Don't They?

By Hazel Last edited 122 months ago
They Hire Horses, Don't They?

We launched our Extinct Entertainments series with an introduction to the defunct theatrical form that is hippodrama. As if the gods are coming out as keen Londonist readers, lo and behold, there is a new hippodrama planned for the 02 centre next year - Ben Hur! It's got horses! Religion! No Charlton Heston!

To mark the 50th anniversary of the film, a special live show is scheduled for the 02 centre in September 2009. 100 animals are expected to take part, including horses, donkeys, chickens and eagles. 400 humans will vie for stage time alongside them. And yes, there will be an almighty chariot race *for real*. The horses will be trained for 12 months by a team of specialist trainers and charioteers - which is extra exciting to us, as we had no idea 'charioteer' was still an actual profession in 2008.

We're looking forward to it enormously and await developments in the world of trendsetting. Does this mean the fad for all things piratical finally passed? Will it be centurion couture for 2009? Will gladiator sandals never quite go away but instead ping back in full strength like a snapped thong across the ankle bone? Only time, and our boundless enthusiasm for a trend, will show us the way.

Tickets don't go on sale until 14 November and the show doesn't premiere until September next year, so do please hold your horses. For more information, go to the 02 website and hunt for Ben Hur.

Image of rather camp Roman by Matt Brown

Last Updated 07 November 2008