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The inventive puppet creators of 'War Horse'




Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company with their Tony Award
Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company with their Tony Award
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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One of the most celebrated plays in recent years, “War Horse” is now wowing L.A. audiences for the first time at the Ahmanson Theater.

It’s been showered with Tony Awards. The film version by Steven Spielberg was nominated for an Oscar, but it was missing a most captivating aspect of the stage production. The story – based on a children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo – follows young Albert on his quest during the Great War to find and bring home his horse Joey, who was sold to the cavalry.

The life-size horse puppets are visually striking and masterfully controlled by actors on stage. Made of steel, leather, cane and aircraft cables, these “horses” take on a life of their own. The memorable beasts were created by Handspring Puppet Company, which has been lauded for the one-of-a-kind creations.

“War Horse” is currently playing at the Ahmanson Theater through July 29.

What about this story makes it a great novel, play and movie? How do the written word, stage and film versions compare?

Guests:

Adrian Kohler, co-founder of the Handspring Puppet Company and co-creator of the War Horse puppetry

Basil Jones, co-founder of the Handspring Puppet Company and co-creator of the War Horse puppetry

Michael Morpurgo, Author of more than 100 children’s books including War Horse (Scholastic Press), the book that the play War Horse and Steven Spielberg’s film of the same name was based upon; Britain’s Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005