War Horse is an adaptation by Nick Stafford of a book of the same name by acclaimed children’s writer, Michael Morpurgo, and is one of those productions that make me proud to be a puppeteer. I am envious of those privileged and skilled enough to work on such a show. The life-size horses made of cane, metal and fabric that house the puppeteers look inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of horse movement. Made by the Handspring Puppet Company, each adult horse has two puppeteers inside, working the body, while a third, outside, controls the head. In the short trailers I have seen, I see these creations exhibit realistic horse movements, behaviors and emotions; the puppets and their handlers are truly extraordinary. I think it is the true life force of these puppets that drives home the tragedy of horses who have suffered and died through the wars of mankind.
The plot is thus:during World War I, Joey, a young man named Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry. But Albert, still not old enough to enlist, embarks on a dangerous mission to find Joey and bring him home.
The trailer(I can’t watch the darned thing without tearing up):
Cast and audience reactions: