Joey, the War Horse, at Southampton's Bargates
Joey, the War Horse, at Southampton's Bargates
Joey, the life-size horse puppet from the National Theatre's internationally acclaimed production, made a special appearance in Southampton in advance of the arrival of War Horse in February and March 2014.

Joey, the extraordinary, galloping, life-size horse puppet, appeared at Southampton's Bargate prior to a puppetry demonstration hosted by Puppetry Director Jimmy Grimes, Tim Van Eyken (Song Man) and the three puppeteers - David Emmings (Joey Head), Stuart Angell (Joey Heart) and Michael Brett (Joey Hind).

War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the British in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in No Man's Land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

Locally, Romsey played an important part in the movement of horses in the First World War at the Romsey Remount Depot, in training and conditioning horses many of which had been purchased from North America. The horses were shipped from Southampton to the Western Front. About 120,000 of the 1.3 million horses and mules involved in the conflict passed through Romsey, and at the end of the war only around 60,000 were reported to have been returned to Britain.

War Horse, Southampton Mayflower 19 February to 15 March 2014