Photo Flash: 'Joey' from WAR HORSE Visits the Hobby Center
Joey, the life-sized puppet from WAR HORSE and cast members appeared at the Hobby Center to meet the press yesterday morning, May 27, and you can check out photos from the event below!
Joey is the star of WAR HORSE and a life-sized puppet presented by the Handspring Puppet Company that brings breathing, galloping, and charging horses to thrilling life on stage in this production of WAR HORSE.
Joey weighs 120 lbs and is handmade by 14 people. Its frame is mostly cane, soaked, bent and stained. An aluminum frame along the spine, lined partly with leather for comfort, allows the horse to be ridden. Stretched, hosiery-like Georgette fabric makes up the "skin" beneath the frame.
A puppeteer at the head controls the ears and head; one in the heart controls breathing and front legs; a third in the hind controls the tail and back legs. A harness connects the puppet's and puppeteer's spines so his or her movements become the breathing of the horse. The tail and ears are moveable instead of the lips or eyelids, because that's how horses usually express themselves. Two levers connected with bicycle brake cables control the leather ears.
The puppet, just under 10 ft long and about 8 ft tall, has about 20 major joints. Vertical levers curl the knees and lift the hooves. The neck is made of carbon fiber glass for flexibility. The eyes are black color behind clear resin so light refracts through them. The right hind lever moves the tail up and down; the left hind lever, left to right; moved together, it spirals. The hair in the mane and tail is made of Tyvek, a plastic-like paper.
The First US National Tour of National Theatre of Great Britain's production of War Horse, presented in Houston as part of Gexa Energy's Broadway at the Hobby Center, runs in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts' Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby Street, Houston, 77002 now through June 1, 2014. Performances are Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. For ticket and more information, visit http://houston.broadway.com or call (800) 952.6560.