Handspring Puppet Company wins a Tony award

South African puppeteers, Handspring Puppet Company, have received a special Tony recognition.

Handspring Puppet Company, with their life-size and very lifelike horse puppets in their War Horse production, were named winners of a special Tony award on Tuesday 3 May 2011 in New York. War Horse was also the recipient of a best play nomination.

War Horse is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo in which horses are sent to the battlefield during World War I. The 30-year old Handspring Puppet Company took the production to London’s National Theatre in 2007 and to New York last month, where one critic called it “astonishing”.

Handspring co-founder Basil Jones has much praise for the National Theatre who were more than willing to help with all aspects of the production. The puppets created by 12 Handspring craftsmen are very durable, with some having lasted for 1 000 performances.

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