Now playing to packed theatres on both sides of the Atlantic, the National Theatre’s remarkable production of War Horse shows no signs of slowing down. In fact it’s going from strength to strength with new shows to be staged in Canada and Australia and with talks under way about a Japanese production.
The National Theatre’s success in bringing Michael Morpurgo’s much-loved novel to the stage lies largely in their life-size puppets of the horses Joey and Topthorn, and the meticulous work of the puppeteers in bringing them to life. In one extraordinary encounter at the National Theatre, a group of real horses found Joey and Topthorn so convincing that they started to interact with them!
These astonishing puppets are made by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company and their method of manufacture, out of aluminium, cane grid and polyester georgette, is a closely guarded secret.
Last week the National Army Museum got a rare insight into the incredible care and construction of these puppets. Allan Edwards, a prop maker from the National Theatre, visited the War Horse: Fact & Fiction exhibition to give our puppet of Joey a new pair of eyes with extra sparkle! We think it’s this eye for detail, which has made the show such a smash hit!