Q&A with Bernard the Horse

6 Dec 2023

We sat down with Arabian Night's magical flying horse to talk about his first time performing at Bristol Old Vic!

 1.  What’s your name?

Ah, so horses, like all animals, have their own particular language. My name in horse language has a particular power so I'm quite secretive about it. You remember the story of Rumpelstiltskin, right? Well, I'm careful to not let anyone have that power over me. Apart from Schere of course, she knows my true name but everyone else calls me Bernard. 

I go by a lot of monikers, Silver Wings, Flighty.. but only Schere knows the truth! 

  2.  Do you think Reindeer’s have cornered the market on flying animals at this time of year?

Reindeers do really good work especially at this time of year. Of course, you know why Santa only uses them? They unionised back in the day. It's actually quite a closed shop. As individuals they're all lovely, especially Prancer, who is a very dear friend of mine,  but yeah, they got themselves organised and ever since Santa is contractually obligated to use them. 

I don't mind really. I hope it goes without saying that I'm faster and more glamourous than any of them. Also, don't get me started on Rudolph. So he's got a red nose! You can get an ointment for that!!!

   3.  Do you have any famous horse friends?

Sure, well Pegasus is well known. To be honest, fame has really gone to Pegasus' head, his head is always in the clouds. Quite literally. 

But also I know Aragorn who the Valkyries rode on, and Bucephalus who hung around with Baron Munchenhausen. To be honest, most winged horses know each other. It's quite an elite circle! We try to get together around this time of year, sing carols, eat hay, that sort of thing.

   4.  Do you wish you were born a Unicorn?

 Absolutely not! You've got to be happy with who you are! Unicorns are wonderful, some of my oldest friends are unicorns but seriously, having a horn in the middle of your forehead is a real healthy and safety hazard, especially when flying!

   5.  Describe your perfect day

Perfect day? That's a tough one. I like adventures, hunting for magic lamps or tussling with genies but also at this time of year, there's something lovely about being at home with family. Spending time with Schere and Dina, eating dates covered in chocolate and drinking mugs of steaming cocoa. I'm not sure it gets any better than that! I also like watching movies. I always cry at Black Beauty.

   6.  How do you stay in shape?

I fly a lot which helps. It actually uses all the main muscle groups but if truth be told the main way I stay in shape is by being magical! I'm very lucky, I can eat whatever I want and stay trim! Also, I don't think about it too much. We're all different shapes and that's the beauty of the world. Be who you are, who you are is fabulous!

   7.  How did you get into acting?

I've always been part of stories. As long as there have been stories, you'll find me in them and ultimately, storytelling is part of acting. Also there's not many performers with my particular skill set; wings, four legs, a fantastic mane of hair! 

 Arabian Nights runs until 6 Jan. Find out more