This photo and the next three are Philip Hunt's snaps from Friday. Photos link to larger view
Good Lord Almighty! Royal de Luxe, a European street theatre company founded by director Jean Luc Courcoult is in central London this weekend and they brought with them a 42-ton mechanical elephant--and that's not all. Studio AKA's Philip Hunt was right in the middle of it.
I had a quite surreal Friday afternoon...spent as a parent helper with Anna's school--one of a few lucky chosen schools as it turns out--who got to meet the ‘Sultans Elephant’ close up... And I mean close up!
Man, of man! That Philip Hunt gets all the luck. What a spectacle! And the story! It starts out as an ominous arrival of giant wooden rocket in the middle of the street. What's inside? You guessed it, a giant little (?) girl marrionette! What's a little big girl to do in a new town? Get candy, that's what. Lollapalooza! (last three links not from the London show)
Above three photos from Friday, lifted from thesultanselephant.com
In the past dozen years, they have created a series of spectacular shows involving giant figures as big as 11 or 12 metres high. Shows are simple – the animal or giant arrives in town and lives its life, going about its business for a few days. Extraordinary interactions take place between passers-by and the performance; residents become enchanted with the activities of these miraculous beings and begin to follow their every move. By the end of the performance, huge crowds gather daily to watch the latest episode in the life of the visiting creature. The Sultan’s Elephant is the fifth in the series of giant pieces, the others being Le Géant tombé du ciel, Le géant tombé du ciel: dernier voyage, Retour d'Afrique and Les Chasseurs de girafes.
I'd love to have seen this thing walk in person. Hope it makes it down to San Francisco's Union Square someday. Thanks to Philip for sharing his Friday's event with us. Here's a link (taken last year) to video of the Sultan's Elephant walking and at the end of the day when giant girl and elephant are reunited to say goodbye.
The Sultan's Elephant
Royal de Luxe
Eric Pouhier photo gallery of The Sultan's Elephant
More photos and videos here.
You Tube clip. Long download.
BBC gallery of day two.
Final You Tube video. Bye-bye, Little Big girl.