Adrian Kohler

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Adrian Kohler BIO

Adrian Kohler is a South African actor, director, and puppeteer best known for his work with the Handspring Puppet Company. Born in Cape Town in 1956, Kohler began his theatrical career in the 1970s, performing with various experimental theater groups in South Africa.
Kohler co-founded the Handspring Puppet Company in 1981 with fellow puppeteer Basil Jones. The company quickly gained international recognition for their innovative use of puppetry in theater productions. In 1991, Kohler and Jones created the award-winning production "Woyzeck on the Highveld," which combined puppetry, live performance, and animation.
Kohler's work with Handspring Puppet Company has been seen on stages around the world, including the National Theatre in London, the Lincoln Center in New York, and the Sydney Opera House. The company's most famous production is "War Horse," which premiered in 2007 and went on to become a global phenomenon. Kohler served as one of the lead puppeteers for the production, which features life-size horse puppets that are operated by a team of actors.
In addition to his work with Handspring Puppet Company, Kohler has also worked as an actor and director in South Africa. He has appeared in numerous productions at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, including "The Good Woman of Sharkville" and "The Island." Kohler has also directed productions of "Hamlet" and "The Tempest" at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.
Kohler's work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. In 2011, he and Jones were awarded the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for their work on "War Horse." The production also won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2008. Kohler and Jones were awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize in 2014 for their contributions to the arts and philosophy.
Kohler's most recent work includes the production "Ubu and the Truth Commission," which premiered in South Africa in 1997. The play, which was co-created by Kohler and Jones, uses puppetry and live performance to explore the human rights abuses that occurred during apartheid in South Africa.

Adrian Kohler Photos

Adrian Kohler Productions

[West End, 2019]
Puppet Fabricator & Director
[Broadway, 2011]
Puppet Designer
[West End, 2009]
Puppet Fabrication
Puppet Designer
Puppetry Director

Adrian Kohler Awards and Nominations

Adrian Kohler Videos

Adrian Kohler News

Review Roundup: LIFE & TIMES OF MICHAEL K at St. Ann's Warehouse

St. Ann’s Warehouse is now presenting The Life & Times of Michael K, adapted by Lara Foot, in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company

American Premiere of LIFE & TIMES OF MICHAEL K is Coming to St. Ann's Warehouse

Don't miss the American premiere of 'Life & Times of Michael K,' a stunning puppet theater production that received rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Find out the dates and venue for this highly acclaimed show at St. Ann's Warehouse.

Feature: 58TH 2023 FLEUR DU CAP AWARDS at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

The stars and beautiful people came out to play at the 58th FLEUR DU CAP AWARDS last Sunday night - 26 March 2023. It was such a treat to be surrounded by so many great theatre makers and talented human beings, as well as to honour those who have done incredible things in the last year.

58th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards Winners Announced

It was a glittering affair at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch on Sunday, 26 March, when the winners of the 58th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards were announced. The event was one of many celebrating World Theatre Day globally on the 27th of March.  

Nominations Announced For the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards

The Distell Group and Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards panel have announced the anticipated list of nominees in contention for the prestigious awards which reward outstanding work in the theatre industry annually. 

SEGAL TALK on November 17 to be Conversation with Basil Jones (South Africa) about THE WALK

The Walk dramatised the stories of refugee children by means of a 3.5-metre-high puppet, Little Amal, who traveled from the Syrian border through Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France in search of her mother.

BWW Interview: Bringing Award-Winning Novel to Life Through Puppetry in LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K

Adapted for stage by Lara Foot and in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company, Nobel Prize-winning author JM Coetzee’s LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K opens for a special preview season next month at Baxter Theatre Centre. Letting us in on their process of working with puppetry for the past four decades, Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of Handspring chat with BroadwayWorld.

LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K Will Be Performed at The Baxter This June

The Baxter Theatre Centre has announced its most ambitious and exciting production in recent years, the world premiere of Nobel Prize-winning author JM Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot, in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company.

VIDEO: Leenya Rideout Sings 'Children Will Listen' For Milwaukee Rep's OUR HOME TO YOUR HOME Series

Milwaukee Rep has shared a video of Leenya Rideout singing 'Children Will Listen' for their Our Home to Your Home series.

National Theatre Announces December 2019 �" June 2020 Lineup; ROMEO & JULIET, SEA SICK, and More!

The National Theatre has announced its upcoming lineup for December 2019 - June 2020.

National Theatre Announces New Productions, Including Emma Rice and Tony Kushner Adaptations

The National Theatre has announced its productions on-sale for October 2019 a?' March 2020

WAR HORSE--An Unmissable Theatrical Feat--Must Close in Hong Kong Today, June 2

After a week of extended performances, the second UK and international touring company of the Tony-Award winning play WAR HORSE must close its Hong Kong leg today, June 2, 2019, at the Lyric Theatre of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts--the venue was packed to the rafters when we watched it last Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

WAR HORSE Debuts in Hong Kong; Show Runs Now Thru June 2

WAR HORSE, the unforgettable theatrical event from the National Theatre of Great Britain, producers of the smash-hit production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," made its debut at the Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, with a star-studded gala premiere held Saturday, May 11. The gala night audience included invited VIPs, show sponsors, and a host of local celebrities such as Cecil Chao, Gigi Chao, Stephen Chan, Ankie Beilke, Vincci Cheuk, Sabrina Leung, Bianca Wu, Cheung Tat-Ming, Geoff Wong, Cecilia Yip, Rita Carpio, and Tony Cruz.

WAR HORSE Gallops Into Hong Kong--The Only Asian Stop in Its First International Tour

The National Theatre of Great Britain's critically-acclaimed 2007 stage production of 'War Horse,' which inspired Steven Spielberg's 2011 war drama film of the same name, extends its limited engagement at the Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). Tickets to the performances from May 10 to June 2, 2019, are now on sale at

National Theatre Announces Listings For May - October 2019

National Theatre has announced its listings for May - October 2019. Check out the full lineup below!

African Premiere Of SAVE THE PEDESTALS Comes to The Baxter

Save the Pedestals, a unique, international, artistic collaboration between the Baxter Theatre Centre, Handspring Puppet Company and Halle Puppet Theatre, makes its African debut at the Baxter Flipside, for four performances only, from 28 to 30 March, at 8pm, with a matinee on Saturday, 30 March at 4pm. This follows its hugely successful world premiere in Halle, Germany, last year.

Tickets Now On Sale For WAR HORSE At Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Joey, the life-sized horse puppet from the National Theatre's acclaimed play War Horse, visited Wembley Park to celebrate today's general public on sale of War Horse coming to the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre this autumn.

BWW Review: WAR HORSE, SEC Armadillo Glasgow

Courage, friendship, determination and hope, War Horse is a love story like no other. After the auction purchase of a foal by a foolish father bidding to save his pride, the Narracott family must work out what to do with a bay thoroughbred horse on their Devon farm. Glasgow born actor Scott Miller plays Albert Narracott, the young country son who bonds with the horse, naming him Joey. Their connection appears unbreakable until a hasty decision pushes their connection to its limits.

National Theatre Announces Lineup For First Half of 2019

The National Theatre has announced its upcoming lineup for the first half of 2019.

WAR HORSE Will Return to London At New Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, Wembley Park's highly-anticipated new theatre venture announces that the acclaimed National Theatre production of War Horse will return to London for a strictly limited run from 18 October 23 November 2019.


Adrian Kohler has been nominated for a Special Award at the Drama Desk Awards for his work on the show War Horse.

Adrian Kohler has won the Special Award for War Horse at the Drama Desk Awards.

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