@WarHorseOnStage @NewTheatreOx @BlenheimPalace
War Horse Joey visits Blenheim Horse Trials
On Saturday I was asked by New Theatre Oxford to go to the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials and photograph an appearance by the puppet known as Joey from the National Theatre‘s production of War Horse.
There are three puppeteers who bring Joey to life, known as Joey Head, Joey Heart and Joey Hind. Their skill is incredible and within moments they fool your brain into believing that Joey is a real horse, in spite of you knowing rationally that ‘he’ isn’t. I was privileged to spend some time chatting with the puppeteers and was impressed with their professionalism and determination to bring Joey to life in the most realistic way possible.
Joey Head also held a puppeteer master class for children at the event and had a great rapport with his pupils and demonstrated a real understanding of how to explain the rudiments of puppeteering.
The highlight of the afternoon though was watching Joey being introduced to real horses. Joey was ‘walked’ into an arena where there where some other horses and stood still with a non threatening demeanour. Slowly the real horses came over to investigate, clearly taken in by Joey and yet somewhat confused. They came closer and closer, even nudging him with their noses. The puppeteer then started to copy their behaviour. It was fascinating to watch and you could feel a real buzz from the humans present.
Here are some of the photos: –