WarHorse -Based on the novel by Michael Morgue, Adapted by Nick Stafford, in association with the Handspring Puppet Company Based on the novel by Michael Morgue but adapted by Nick Stafford, there powerful, dramatic WarHorse’ tells the story of a Horse that goes to battle and gets passed through many different owners, and how the Horse lives though the First World War.
Everything is spoken apart from the song women narrates the story as it goes along by singing. On arrival in the theatre forum, the first thing that my eyes were drawn to was the minimalist, bare stage where there what looks like a ripped paper strip all the way across the top of the stage, looking like a banner which is a breaching technique. To include there was also a simple box on stage, which was centre stage right.
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Then what caught my attention next was the lighting, which had freezer and flood lights on at that point in time which gave Off bright white light, giving the whole theatre neutral atmosphere until play Is about to start. The floor of the stage looked Like tarmac/concrete Glenn It a hard solid feel, making the stage look and feel cold, dull and bare. The whole stage made everyone In the audience wonder hat was going on and guess for what was going to happen on stage when the play starts.
When Joey the horse first came on stage, the lights up with a bright white light, Joey seen as a foul, with three small women controlling the puppet, Joey was moving around like he was in a field, making all the necessary noises to make the puppet seem real, when he did Just walk around on stage it made me feel so happy that he was happy and that I could feel what he was feeling through the sense of body movement which was jumpy and moving about everywhere making him and yeses feel free, you could also tell that Joey was happy and young because he was only small puppet to start with but when his ears moved around listening to what going on In the field, that created a feeling that he was young and that he was enthusiastic about the way of life on the field. Even the actors who where controlling Joey had the same body language and facial expressions as Joey to make the puppet more life like. This made the atmosphere bright, happy and enthusiastic about Joey.
This linked in with the characterization throughout the play which made you feel like oh were part of the story and all main characters had very strong characterization, but one moment that shone through the others for characterization was when the awful moment of Joey in the stable and Albertan drunk father grabs the whip and starts whipping Joey, he starts to make the squealing noises and his body language is all tight and quivery and then he bucks for me this was a very emotional part for me because of the characterization of Joey, Just sitting there watching him get hurt and all the facial expressions and body language and noises that comes out of him make he audience want to leap out there seats and come to save Joey from getting hurt. But as soon as Joey started to whelp, Albert and his mother, from their facial expressions you could see how much It meant to them, and how they could feel Joeys pain, which also got brought into the audience, the audience really felt the emotions good characterization through this because of this part being so emotional and the whole audience feeling the pain for Joey and how Albertan dad was acting so foolishly. The lighting at this point was blue which was to suggest that it was cold, dark and at eight, this made the atmosphere for the audience even more tense, and kept everyone on the edge of there seat!
There was nothing much on stage, very bare apart from three men dressed in old fashion military, thick material grey and dull uniform, holding these rigid poles to create the effect of a pen/stable which I thought you could clearly understand and kept you interest in the performance. Every now and again the song women (narrator) would enter on stage and sing part of a song to express what was going on but I felt like it didn’t really work and when the story was eating to an emotional part and the song women would burst in and start to sing, for me this broke the emotion and body language from the moving story to the women that sung, it ruined that part of the performance.
The movement of Joey in warhorse alone was amazing the whole way through, this amazing puppet, I thought was really life like which made the story even more like you were there and it was realistic, Joey had three people controlling him from the person controlling his Hines legs to the person controlling front legs and the most effective person I though that created the allies of Joey was the person controlling his head, every single movement was different, from moving his head in different directions to his tail swaying in different directions all the time made Joey seem really real to me, with his ears twitching at certain points and his head points straight into the air you can tell he’s trying to listen or be wear of something, also with the movement it gives off really good body language and lets the audience no what he is doing or thinking.
Vocal and movement – not sure what bit to write about Too include there was part in the story when I felt the communication was really throng and powerful and created a relationship, it was when Albert was in the army with a mate in the army too and they sat up stage centre, legs hanging off the stage and staring into the horizon and they were laughing, Joking and insulting each other but Albertan mate was making fun of him abut him and Joey his horse before his dad sold him to the army. I think that that is really good communication through the use of laughter, it was really funny and shows how there friendship is still growing and how powerful it is even though they are in the middle of a war! A me