Get Up, the improv troupe I do improvised sound-tech for, is going to the week long international improv festival in Amsterdam this January. Never having been to Europe, I'm bringing my mother with me the week before the festival and the two of us will tour London and Paris. While there, we hope to get tickets to the National Theater's show, "War Horse"!
NY Times Slideshow
01 - A scene from the London production of "War Horse," which uses life-size puppets to tell the story of a young British boy and his love for a horse.
02 - Tom Morris, far left, the show's co-director, rehearses with some of the puppeteers who bring the horses, named Joey and Topthorn, to life.
03 - Patrick Healy writes from London that the puppets "are as much living, breathing and emotionally aware beings as any award-winning actor here today."
04 - The basic construction material for the horses is cane, which was soaked to make it more moldable. Silk patches were then applied to gauze to suggest the animals' skin patterns and also partly to conceal the two puppeteers inside each adult horse.
05 - "The third puppeteer for each adult horse stands outside the wooden frame, near the head, and moves to and fro in unison with the other two and the horse itself. The effect is such that this puppeteer is all but forgotten by the audience, even though fully visible."
06 - "Beneath the skeletal structure of Joey and Topthorn, the puppeteers hold gears and triggers that, when pressed, move body parts of each horse in fluid motion."
07 - "The ears of the horses, for instance, are driven by bicycle brake cables and are capable of a 180-degree sweep. The tail is controlled by three cables acting as tendons, producing a movement based on the actual anatomy of a horse."
08 - "British and American producers plan to mount 'War Horse' in New York in 2011 and are now looking at Broadway theaters and other locations, like the Park Avenue Armory, that would be large enough to house the show, said one of the producers, Bob Boyett."
09 - "'This level of puppetry hasn't been seen on Broadway before, and this is what audiences are going to find riveting,' said Basil Jones, one of the creators of the puppets."