No it ‘s not a new Trojan Horse, but it is the largest wooden horse ever made by David and Noreen Kiss, proprietors of The Rocking Horse Workshop.
Thanks to a recommendation from a previous work-experience student, David and Noreen were commissioned by The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London to construct this prop for their current production. Embargoed from publicising their work until after the show opened, they can now show off this masterpiece. The play, called “The Low Road” written by Bruce Norris and directed by Dominic Cooke, runs from 22nd March – 11th May. It tells of a young entrepreneur who sets out on a quest for wealth with priceless ambition and a purse of gold.
David says, “We were contacted by the theatre in mid Jan 2013 and asked if we could produce such a thing and complete it by the end of February… the answer to both these questions was yes, so we were successful in acquiring the commission.” Though it does not rock, this giant does have one part which goes backwards and forwards. The head needed to rise and fall and this was achieved by means of a hidden pivot and spring arrangement.
The picture on the right shows the horse being constructed in the workshop. The horse was modeled on an old ‘pull-along’ toy horse and scaled up to be larger than life. Standing 14 hands high at the withers (or 4ft. 8in./1.42m), the top of its head reaches to a total height of 7ft (2.13m) when raised.
The horse was made from ‘yellow pine’ around an internal plywood frame for strength. Yellow pine is the standard material for rocking horse manufacture and David says, “I wanted to use a material that I had experience of and to know how it would perform.” The tail was indeed real horse hair.
No horse box was needed for the journey to London as the wheels, legs, and head were all designed to be removable for ease of storage and shipping. The horse could therefore transported to the place where the painting was to be done in a Transit van. Originally David and Noreen were to have painted the horse, but the production team were unsure how to finish it before actually seeing it. In the near future we hope to add a photograph of it in its stage make-up!
Rocking Horse Workshop Website