War Horse puppet visits historic stables ahead of Birmingham Hippodrome shows - in pictures
A life-size War Horse puppet stopped off at historic canalside stables in Birmingham before heading to the Hippodrome later this year.
Following eight record-breaking years in London’s West End and having played in 11 countries around the world, the National Theatre’s acclaimed play War Horse comes to the city centre venue in October.
To celebrate the show's return to Birmingham, the star of War Horse - a puppet named Joey - visited the Grade II listed Roundhouse, a former 19th century canal-side stables and store, to meet members of St George’s Church of England Primary School.
Head of communications at Birmingham Hippodrome, Laura Smith, said it was a 'real joy to watch the children interacting with Joey'
It’s incredibly humbling to think that so many of the former horses who worked on this site would have experienced a story remarkably similar to Joey’s, " she added.
"For many working horses of the period requisitioned to serve on the front, there was no escaping the harsh reality of war.
"It’s been fascinating to walk in their footsteps for the afternoon and to commemorate their contribution to the war effort which began life right here in the heart of Birmingham."
Commenting on his experience, head puppeteer Shaun McKee added that it was beautiful to watch people react to Joey for the first time.
"Audiences come to the show expecting a puppet, but they see a horse," he said.
"We’re very lucky to experience that feeling as actors night after night. It never gets old no matter how many times you do it.”
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse tells the story of Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who live on a farm in the British countryside.
At the outbreak of the First World War, the duo are forcibly parted when Albert's father sells the horse to the British cavalry.
War Horse comes to Birmingham Hippodrome from October 10 to November 3.
For more information and to buy tickets, click here.