A Behind the Scenes Look at the Incredible Puppets of War Horse!

As you eagerly anticipate Nate’s interview with James Retter Duncan, one of the stars of War Horse, I thought I would share a behind the scenes look at the show. As I watched this TED talk video all I could say was wow! I was amazed at the feat of engineering, the brilliance of design and the sensitive artistry that it took to create these incredible horses. This talk by the creators of these spectacular puppets (Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company) gives new depth to the heartfelt story of War Horse.

Every decision they made in the design of the horse puppets helped them come alive on stage. They considered how horses use their ears to communicate emotion, how the materials would interact with stage lighting and how to design the horse so that it would be strong enough to support a rider. The demonstration of the horse puppets in action gave me a new appreciation for the sophistication of the role of Joey. Operated by 3 actors (head, heart & hind) they work as one to instill the character with emotion and life. It is about working together, trusting each other, and about connecting with an animal’s behaviour – abandoning human characteristics.

If you have seen War Horse, you will gain a new appreciation for what it took to create these incredible life-size puppets. If you haven’t seen War Horse, this video about the creation of the puppets will inspire you to do so.

Stay tuned for a teaser of Nate’s interview with James, coming tomorrow!