The stage adaptation of War Horse has packed theatres around the world and played to rave reviews, but has failed to sell enough tickets in New Zealand to bring the show across the Tasman.
The play, based on the children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo, was to have been staged at Auckland’s Aotea Centre from August 20.
However, reports suggest ticket sales had been below expectations, prompting the decision to cancel the Auckland season.
The ASB Theatre at the Aotea Centre said in a statement that it had been advised by the producers Global Creatures that the Auckland season had been cancelled.
“We know that this will be very disappointing for those who have already purchased tickets to War Horse and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”
To obtain a refund, ticketholders should call 0800 289 842 or (09) 357 3355, or visit the Aotea Centre box office from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5.30pm, or Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
The stage production, which debuted in Britain, tells the story of a horse named Joey, who is sold into service during World War 1 and sees auction on the battlefields of Europe.
Albert, the young boy who trained him, never forgets his horse and, when old enough, sets off to find him.
The show has won numerous accolades, include five Tony Awards, and features spectacular South African-designed life-size horse puppets.
War Horse also faced a competitive theatre season in Auckland, with Wicked, Stomp, The Illusionists, and Disney on Ice all scheduled for seasons.
War Horse was also adapted into a Steven Spielberg-produced movie.