Joey the War Horse meets the real deal

To celebrate the opening night and the four-week run at the Festival Theatre of War Horse, we arranged for Joey, the life-size equine puppet from War Horse, to meet Lewis and Kilmarnock from Police Scotland’s Mounted Unit on Wednesday 18 April.

Police horses Lewis and Kilmarnock were accompanied by PC Claire Hunter and PC Kaeren Muir, while Joey was joined by actor Thomas Dennis (who plays Albert), Matt Forbes (Puppetry director) and the puppeteers operating Joey in Edinburgh: Tom Quinn (head), Chris Charles (heart) & Sam Parker (hind). 

Prior to Joey, Lewis and Kilmarnock meeting with members of the press and photographers in front of the Festival Theatre, the three horses spent some ‘familiarisation’ time together in our back of house loading bay and, almost immediately, it was clear a long-lasting friendship was formed. Lewis took a particular interest in Joey!

Once acquainted, they made their way to the front of the Festival Theatre where a large group of press, staff and passers-by were waiting to bear witness to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

When the photocall was over, actor Thomas Dennis became Lewis and Kilmarnock’s new favourite human after he offered them some very well-deserved polo mints, which disappeared very quickly!

War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the British in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in No Man’s Land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.  A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

War Horse is now running at the Festival Theatre until 12 May. As Michael Morpurgo says: ‘Steady boy, steady Joey. Trot on!'.