PlayhouseSquare Peek - War Horse

Last week I was invited by the lovely Charlene to a PlayhouseSquare donor event to preview War Horse, the Tony Award winning play from The National Theatre. I knew the 'Joey the horse' would be there but didn't really know what else to expect.

Charlene & I ; Charlene looking fab in her The Webster for Target dress.

Any event put on by PlayhouseSquare is top notch. We mingled in the State Theatre lobby, enjoying drinks, nibbles and a really great crowd. I really can't express how delightful all the donors and members of Partners are. There are always laughs, insightful conversation and a general feeling of happiness and community with this group. 

I have to confess. I didn't see War Horse the movie. I can't watch any movie where animals might be harmed or die and a movie about horses that go to war is obviously high on that list. I will be seeing War Horse the play. Why? I was basically told the play was 'safe'. Unlike the movie where everything is shown to you, the play takes the step of leaving a lot to your imagination. Sounds good to me. 

War Horse is part of the Key Bank Broadway Series and comes to PlayhouseSquare April 9th-21st
- Single tickets are $10-$75 and are on sale now
- You can also get your ticket as part of a 7-show ticket plan which guarantees you seats to The Book of Mormon (another must-see!)

England 1914, the start of World War I. Albert's horse, Joey, is sold to the war effort and shipped to France. Joey's amazing journey is played out on both sides of the war and Albert, too young to enlist, heads out in search to bring his beloved horse home.

Joey up close {via}

The part of Joey is played by 3 puppeteers (all actors or dancers.) The puppet is handmade by Handspring Puppet Company and is 10 feet long. Within a few minutes you completely buy into the premise that this is a real horse.

top: Learning the difference between a trot and a gallop
bottom: the actors who play Joey and Albert

Six human legs and four horse legs must all move as one. One actor is in charge of the head, one of the torso and one of the hind and tail. The puppet weighs 120lbs and sometimes has to carry the weight of the actor riding the horse. All sound and movement are made by these men and it's grueling work which they split up into a few teams. But you'd never know it from talking to these guys. This is their passion and they feel privileged to bring this experience to us. They're funny, charming and cute. That sure doesn't hurt.

All of this comes together in a tale that is fascinatingly moving. 


Alicia at Poise in Parma said...

The puppetry is absolutely amazing. It's the productions like these that make me proud to say I was a theatre major in college. Thanks for sharing your experience!

War Horse said...

i love war horse i have read the boook and seen the movie and i want to see the play