Puppetry research- War horse

One of my biggest inspiration has to definitely be from the theatre! Even though my finished piece is not intended for a theatre production I wish to capture the theatrics of a large scale puppet. I was lucky enough to go on a school trip to see war horse in theatres and its breathtaking puppetry has stayed with me.

For me convincing my audience with the realistic movement is absolutely essential. This video explain the movement and making of joey the horse has opened my eyes to how getting realistic joint movements is key to a convincing over all piece.

On stage, Joey is operated by three puppeteers – the Head, the Heart and the Hind – who work together to create the character and noises of the horse. Using the Japanese Bunraku ‘exposed’ style of puppetry, the manipulators can be seen on stage as they articulate the limbs of the horse and communicate its emotions and breathing with life-like accuracy. The puppet is made primarily of cane, leather and Tyvec (synthetic fibre) and its spine is reinforced with aluminium to allow for a rider on top. It takes eight months to build a complete set of puppets for War Horse, all of which are handmade in Cape Town, South Africa by 14 craftsmen and women.



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