Friday, October 12, 2012

Quit Horsing Around, This Is Puppetry: Meet War Horse's Puppetry Master

Finn Caldwell at the media launch earlier this year
At a Fitzroy cafe, Finn Caldwell has ordered boiled egg with soldiers. Perhaps he is homesick. But if War Horse continues as it has begun, chances are the English actor turned Puppetry Director will have to get used to a global lifestyle.

War Horse has, ironically, taken on a life of it’s own. Since opening at the National Theatre in 2007, millions of people have seen the stage show at London’s West End, New York, Toronto and Los Angeles. Hollywood director Steven Spielberg even turned it into a movie.

‘No-one thought this was going to be a hit. It was an experimental show. I could see the potential of the puppets, but we were groping in the dark. I was asking myself, Is it good enough to put on stage?  I wasn’t sure.’

‘Every time we moved on to the West End, or Broadway, or Australia nobody was  saying, Oh yeah we’re this big hit that’s taking over the world. None of us can believe this is happening.’

Nick Stafford’s stage adaption of Micheal Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel War Horse, is about Joey, the beloved horse of a boy Albert, who is sold to the cavalry in World War 1. Shipped to France, Joey is involved on both sides of the fighting. But Albert can’t forget Joey and sets out to bring him home. Continue reading

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