Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Last week in my review of “Memphis” I talked about the magic that an actor and actress could bring to the stage that elevates the whole production. Last night at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the performing Arts in “Warhorse” there was another kind of theatre magic that could only be presented on stage and that was 13 puppeteers bringing 5 horses to life to the point you forget that young Joey, Joey, Topthorn and Heine are being manipulated by people.
The play by Nick Stafford, based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, tells the story of Albert (Michael Wyatt Cox) and his young foal and how the former’s life is affected by the latter before, during and after WW1. We meet the friends, family and enemies of Albert and the friends and enemies of Joey.
With a cast of over 30, some, including puppeteers, playing multiple roles “Warhorse” is an adult puppetry marvel that equals any special effects that you may have seen on a movie screen but they are performed by actors making you believe the horses, and even the funny goose, are real flesh and blood. When something bad happens to Joey you gasp and when Topthorn is hurt you might even shed a tear!
The puppet design, fabrication and direction originated with Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones for the Handspring Puppet Company. They, and the puppeteers on stage, bring magic to the theatre and make “Warhorse” definitely a must see!
Running time is 2 and a half hours with a 20 minute intermission.
Next at The Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami will be “The Blue Man Group” May 13-18 followed by “Evita” May 27-June 1.