TOPICS: Holding the reins

JOHN Shearman has won the honour of being a horse’s head.

Now there’s a sentence you don’t read every day.

The actor from Newcastle who graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts acting course last year, is one of the 12 puppeteers operating the two giant horses in the stage production War Horse.

He will work with the main horse Joey by operating the head.

Shearman’s mate and fellow Newcastle actor Drew Wilson, who also went to VCA, is in charge of Joey’s heart.

Insert heart versus head jokes here.

The story is about a horse from an English farm that is sent, to his young master’s horror, to the World War I European battlefields. 

An opera singer as a youngster, Wilson spent two seasons performing at the Sydney Opera House.

Shearman cut his teeth at Young People’s Theatre at Hamilton.

The production opens in Melbourne on December 23 and runs to February 10, followed by a Sydney season at the Lyric Theatre from March 16 to June 30.

Since its world premiere in London in 2007, War Horse has won numerous awards including two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Tony Awards and four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards.

The Handspring Puppet Company has also won many accolades including a 2011 Special Tony Award.

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