I am bouncing out of my seat, you guys, because tonight we see WAR HORSE!!!!
I know that the story behind War Horse is a tough one; Gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, drama; but I am so ready for it! Why put myself through an emotional grab-bag of ups and downs? Because: PUPPETS.
The first time I saw two of the War Horse puppets was on a YouTube video from a UK Talk Show. It was a chat show and they were talking about the new experimental piece being put up by the National Theatre. It was considered “experimental” because the protagonist was a puppet and this puppet had to do all sorts of things, including being a wholly believable, sympathetic, character WITHOUT SPEAKING A SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE. Why? Well, in case you’re unfamiliar, or the title didn’t give it a way, the puppet is a horse.
Anyway, so I’m watching this clip because someone had tipped me off to the idea that there was some pretty nifty puppetry involved – and being a puppet nerd AND a theatre nerd AND an anglophile – the combination of British accents, puppets and live theatre had me sold at “ ‘Allo! “.
Where was I?
Oh, right, I’m watching a clip on Youtube.
It shows the foal puppet being demonstrated first. It was cute, and there is no denying that the puppeteers are exceedingly good (just watch it “breathe”!) and that the puppet itself is an incredible piece of workmanship, but I wasn’t mind-boggled or anything.
But then, oh then, with only a minute left in the video, in trots the full-size Joey and, sitting there in front of computer screen, I burst into tears. It was the single-most beautiful puppet I had ever seen In. My. Life. I was completely unprepared for it. My tears were a spontaneous physical reaction to beauty. I had no control over it.
Here’s the clip.
I am prepared for most of you to not “get it”. But that’s ok. As I said, Puppet Nerd.
From that moment over three years ago, until now, I have been on a quest to see this show. It was playing when I was in NYC year before last but the tickets were way too expensive for me to afford at the time.
I became obsessed with this show. I devoured every bit of media on it I could find. Every little news clip, interview, anything with video; I HAD to see these puppets in action. Simple photos were not good enough.
To give you an idea about how much this is about the puppets and not the story – I’ve never read War Horse and I completely avoided the movie. I knew the story was rough and (being an animal lover) I didn’t want ANYTHING to pull my attention away from the artistry of the puppets prior to seeing them live on stage.
My favorite video about the puppets was the TED Talk given by the founders of the Handspring Puppet Company, the South African company who designed and built the horse puppets for War Horse. You can see it below.
Now, finally, tonight, I get to see these woven bits of steel, cane, leather and cloth come to life in front of my eyes.
I am going to be a hot mess.
EMERALD CITY COMIC CON!! Anticipate a “place-holder” post, with a full wrap-up the week after with tons of pics!