Thursday, November 4, 2010

Horsing around in Hyde Park: The puppet West End star meets the Household Cavalry


Horsing about: Trooper Aaran Reddish sits astride puppet Joey in Hyde Park while he is operated by two men inside the horse

Standing to attention, the men of the Household Cavalry show their respect for an unsung hero of the First World War - even if it's a puppet.

Joey is the life-sized star of the long-running hit West End production War Horse.

He went through his paces in Hyde Park in front of soldiers from the Blues and Royals regiment who were 'inspected' by actor Perri Snowden, who plays Captain Nicholls.

On parade: Members of the Blues and Royals present arms for Joey, the life-size puppet star of War Horse and his master, actor Perri Snowden, who plays Capt Nicholls

Trooper Aaran Reddish sat astride Joey as two men inside the horse operated the head by pulling strings and kept the puppet upright.

War Horse has been showing at the New London Theatre for the past two years and it's thanks to the Household Cavalry that the puppets are so believable.

They helped train the actors how to handle the 'horses' and have been 'consultants' for the show.

A spokeswoman said: 'We had actors who weren't soldiers and horses that were made of cane and netting.'

Horse sense: Elizabeth, one of the regiment's horses, meets the star puppet in Hyde Park

Drum roll: Spartacus, the Household Cavalry's drum horse which is retiring after 20 years, stands beside Joey

Seven war horse were made for the production which is set at the outbreak of World War One,.

Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France where he's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in No Man's Land.

But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a perilous mission to find him and bring him home.

So far 878,000 people have seen the production including the Queen and most of the Royal Family. Next March, a production will also open on Broadway.

And director Steven Spielberg is filming the original children's novel by Michael Morpurgo. The film will be released next year.

source :dailymail

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