Today saw the Birmingham Hippodrome launch one of the highlights from its Autumn Season – the National Theatre’s War Horse which plays a four week run at the venue later in the year.
Joined by the shows Associate Puppetry Director, Toby Olie and the star of the show, Joey the horse, the insight into the show proved to be fascinating. Joey is controlled by three puppetry actors, each of them unique in their own behaviours, controlling different parts of playful Joey.
Toby explains how paramount it is for all of the actors to be able to speak ‘horse language’. “It’s important to me to keep the animals real, I don’t want the puppets to become stage animals, they need to be as life like as possible. With four different teams of three playing the role in London, each performance is unique as each group of actors have their own personality; both emotional and physical.”
War Horse is the powerful story of young Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the English in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before finding himself in No-Man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. War Horse is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship featuring ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
We were also joined by National Theatre Producer, Chris Harper, a local boy who will bring the show to Birmingham: “As someone who was born in Stourbridge and started my career here at the Hippodrome…I am particularly excited to bring War Horse home.”
Tickets for the Whatsonstage.com Award winning production go on sale tomorrow morning, running from October 15 through November 9 at the Birmingham Hippodrome.