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   Undertoad  Wednesday May 10 01:17 PM

5/10/2006: Royal de Luxe puppets in London

The first time we saw this set of giant puppets from the Royal De Luxe was about last year at this time. Last weekend they made their way to London and bargalunan was kind enough to update that previous thread with a set of links to details on this visit, including comprehensive BBC coverage.

There is a story around the elephant and little girl, which the troupe played out over their visit. Part of the story is on the troupe's site. It also explains the "stitched cars" which jinx noticed in the last IotD roundup:

Once upon a time, there lived a sultan who was tormented in his dreams by visions of a little girl who was travelling through time. This is his story, incredible but true.

The sultan could no longer sleep, his growing anguish diverting his attention from affairs of state. In order to cure his sickness, and believing that he would find the girl in the land of dreams, he commissioned an unknown engineer living in 1900 to construct a time-travelling elephant. A few months later, the sultan set off with his court in search of the little giant, which, in the course of his nightmares, had been transformed into a marionette 5 metres high.

The trip was awful, but they found a series of clues as to her wherabouts. The giant loved sewing - she liked to stitch cars to the tarmac, boats to quaysides, trains to railway tracks and sometimes even envelopes to letterboxes.

The elephant followed the trail left by the puppeteers. And as in all love stories, strange things began to happen. Such was his happiness at getting closer to her, he began to expel hundreds of living birds which disappeared into the sky in a burst of joy.

To be continued…

Amazing detail:

...the girl can lick a lollypop.

...the elephant can spray the crowd.

...the elephant can shower the girl.

I want to see it!

photo cred: some images (c) Creative Commons by Colin Gregory Palmer

rebelcan  Wednesday May 10 01:37 PM

Okay, giant pupets = sorta cool.

Giant elephant puppet that can be used in a crowd control situation = hella cool.

xant  Wednesday May 10 02:05 PM

Giant half-naked little girl on puppet strings = super creepy.

Pancake Man  Wednesday May 10 02:15 PM

How someone can construct a behemoth like that out of hydraulics and hoses, and still make it a work of art, just blows my mind.
Great images.

dar512  Wednesday May 10 02:22 PM

Originally Posted by xant
Giant half-naked little girl on puppet strings = super creepy.
Bare arms and bare knees = half-naked?

ferkelparade  Wednesday May 10 05:11 PM

Just wait until the porn industry gets its hands on the technology behind this...

bacchus  Wednesday May 10 05:32 PM

Ok, so I understand the story about the sultan.. but what is this all about?

Pancake Man  Wednesday May 10 05:53 PM

Ya know, I probly don't want to ask.

Leah  Wednesday May 10 06:46 PM

Wow I love the giant elephant puppet. I want one, no I want two. I'm heading to Thailand in 3 weeks time for the real thing. Continue my training to be a mahout for 10 days in Chiang Mai, then travel around to Bridge over River Kwai region, can't wait.

Ibby  Wednesday May 10 06:53 PM

I have friends that just went to Chiang Mai, it's s'posed to be really nice. You should pop down the the Khao Lak area north of Phuket though, if you have time... lend a helping hand...

Leah  Wednesday May 10 07:00 PM

Hi Ibram, I wish I could get back down that way, but honestly I love it up north where the true Thail culture is. I go every year and spend at least a month there, (only 3 weeks this trip ) I love Chiang Mai and spend all my time with and around elephants, as much as I can. Can't wait to see Kanchanaburi (River Kwai region) never been there before. I'm not really into the Phuket (glamour) spots, love the hills regions. But thanks anyway.

Ibby  Thursday May 11 12:58 AM

Phuket itself is kinda boring, but Khao Lak isn't. It may not be as beautiful or as culturally soaked as the north, but the people there need the business and the help to survive, after the tsunami.

Cyclefrance  Thursday May 11 01:50 AM

For reasons of stupidity, I missed Bargalunan's update and started this thread in Quality Images

Maybe you can move across UT...?

bargalunan  Thursday May 11 05:17 AM

You can notice the little giant is very kind with Londoners, she only sewed French cars (license plate)

News from Royal de Luxe :

They're going to build in Nantes (France), around an an old entrepôt people can visit :

- a 18 meters high carousel based on sea world (2009)
- a 22 meters high tree made of steel (45 meters diameter) with 2 mechanical and 15 meters wingspan herons that can take passengers (2011)
- the elephant (12 meters high and 8 meters of width) will be the bus used by the tourists to reach the carousel along the Loire river

This project is linked with the urban developpement of the former industrial island where it takes place.

bargalunan  Thursday May 11 06:29 AM

Here some links about "l'Ile de Nantes" :

The following projects are designed by "La Machine" the association that built the elephant for "Le Royal de Luxe".
François Delarozière is the main creative and mechanical genius.
to go faster you can skip over the intro with "zapper l'intro"
and choose "constructions" and "projets"

For people who like technical design :

jaguar  Saturday May 13 12:26 PM

despite living about 20 minutes away I missed this and feel very silly.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday May 13 01:13 PM

When did you hear about it, Jag? Someone said their was no advanced publicity until just before it happened.

skysidhe  Saturday May 13 01:42 PM

I think that would be the coolest thing to see. * sigh *

[edit to add smilie, to know I am being dreamy not sardonic]

jaguar  Sunday May 14 02:15 PM

Couple of days before from a friend, no idea how he knew but there are remarkably effective rumour networks in this city, there's no way something that big would have stayed quiet.

Cyclefrance  Monday May 15 06:16 AM

Originally Posted by jaguar
Couple of days before from a friend, no idea how he knew but there are remarkably effective rumour networks in this city, there's no way something that big would have stayed quiet.
Hi Jaguar - the event wasn't well publicised before the week it was to happen - all a bit subliminal and uninspiring as the London promoters, a company called Artichoke, wanted to maintain the surprise element - nice Catch 22 there!

First day photos bore out that they achieved their objective as only a handful of people discovered the rocket and even the arrival of the elephant on the first day proper drew only moderate crowds.

Luckily the national papers ran with it full time thereafter and also word-of-mouth ensured the attendance enjoyed exponential growth! Last day (Sunday) was jam-packed!

If you missed it and still want to see it, then you might do as I am thinking - catch it in Calais at the end of September. I'm contemplating taking a wine-buying trip to Calais one day that weekend to take in lunch at Chateau Cocove plus a bit of elephant as dessert! Perhaps we could meet up if you decide to do the same...

Cyclefrance  Thursday May 18 04:53 AM

For any Brits interested:

BBC4 tonight (Thursday 18 May) at 7.10 pm

Programme covering the London event.

Cyclefrance  Saturday May 20 11:05 AM

Over 5,000 photos of the London event here

Guest  Friday May 26 02:49 PM

Wow.... Those puppets are awesome... I'm blown away by the detail and craftsmanship that went into that...

mitheral  Friday May 26 05:24 PM

Originally Posted by Guest
Wow.... Those puppets are awesome... I'm blown away by the detail and craftsmanship that went into that...
Oh, Guest is your handle. For a second there I thought The Cellar was letting the great unwashed post without even signing up.


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday May 27 12:49 PM

To post, ya gotta sign up (quick and easy, with no spam aftertaste), but ya don't gotta wash.

Carigana  Saturday Jun 17 09:51 PM

Video of part of the script, mostly just showing the girl and a wee bit of the elephant:

eastepp  Monday Jan 28 03:30 PM

Looks like their at it again:

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jun 13 05:46 PM

And yet again...

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