Brian and I at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle – we were volunteers there for a few years when he was in high school
“War Horse” on stage is coming to Seattle and our newest writer, Brian, will be covering the show on opening night. Brian participated in musical theater in High School as well as community theatre, and he’s a huge fan of the stage.
He’s traveled to see numerous shows on Broadway and has himself sung at Carnegie Hall. He’s employed by a local airlines so he travels the world taking phenomenal photos; we’ve featured many of them here on our blog.
Brian is headed back to Manhattan to see a show on Broadway next week, but before he does, he’ll be seeing “War Horse” on opening night here in Seattle. The show is part of the 2012/2013 KeyBank Broadway at The Paramount series and is presented by Seattle Theatre Group.
This is the 3rd year that KeyBank has been the title sponsor of the series. Additionally, the Roosevelt Hotel and Alaska Airlines are official sponsors of KeyBank Broadway at the Paramount.
Joey (Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³)
“War Horse” on stage is a theatrical adaptation of the novel written by Michael Morpurgo. The centerpiece of this turn-of-the century war story is an English plough horse name Joey. In the stage adaptation, the horse is a life-size puppet which is brought to life by the South African Handspring Puppet Company.
The handmade horse weighs 120lbs and is made from soaked and bent cane along with an aluminum frame. Joey can be ridden and is equipped with a leather seat for the comfort of the rider. His “skin” is made from a hosiery-like Georgette fabric which is fitted to the frame. Carbon fiber glass is used to create his neck so that it has a flexibility that resembles a real horse. His eyes are made to refract the light so that they look realistic. His mane as well as his tail are made from Tyvek, the same material used by the Post Office in the indestructible envelopes.
War Horse at TED (Photo credit: jurvetson)
Joey’s main puppeteer controls his head including his ears, another controls his breathing as well as his front legs, and a third controls his back legs and tail. The puppeteers are connected via a harness to Joey so their movements are synchronized with his and they move as one. These puppeteer are also the voice for Joey.
Joey is just under 10 feet long and approximately 8 feet tall and he’s compromised of 20 major joints. Levers are used to lift his hooves and control his ears as well as his tale – it’s these movements that bring the horse to life. The amount of physical stamina required by these puppeteers is incredible.
So how well does this puppet horse translate on stage? You’ll have to come back to read Brian’s review after the show. Until then, purchase tickets for the Seattle run at the STG Presents website.
We will receive 2 tickets in order to give our honest opinion regarding War Horse Seattle