Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Fee Fi Fo Fun!

Over the weekend we experienced something really incredible, thanks to the Perth International Arts Festival and French company Royal de Luxe.

We were visited by two very amazing GIANTS!!!

Little Girl snoozing on her bed.

Diver having a nap outside the train station.
Royal de Luxe are world leaders in large-scale street theatre and storytelling led by Director Jean-Luc Courcoult. Convinced that it was easier to reach an audience by going outside rather than dragging them into a room, their shows are played on the streets and in public open spaces. In order to be more unique, they developed shows extending over three days: the point was to be able to tell a story to an entire city by adapting it to the city.  The Diver Giant was built in 1993 and the Little Girl Giant in 1997. This company is unusual, unorthodox and extremely fascinating. Have a look at their site http://www.royal-de-luxe.com/

The show in Perth is in commemoration with the centenary of Anzac, so the back story is based on the battle of Gallipoli. In short, the Little Girl has a vision of the Diver trying to save lives of drowning soldiers. He spends his time burying the soldiers who have passed away on the sea bed. She decides to sail to Perth to look for him. You can read the full story by searching for “The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of the Giants to the Streets of Perth.”
I was a little sceptical as to how entertaining this would be. After all, I could see cranes helping the giants along in all the photos, so the impact couldn’t be that great, could it?

It could!

This wasn’t just a case of large puppets being hoisted around. These marionettes were so lifelike and captivating, you had to see it to believe it. They blinked, waved, smiled, yawned, slept, snored, ate, drank, showered, danced, exercised, rode scooters and even peed in public! I don’t think there was a single person out of the 1.5 million crowd that wasn’t enchanted by these colossal “performers”.

Little Girl on her scooter.

Little Girl enjoys a lolly in the Perth heat.

Little Girl plays with little kids.

WA schoolkids made a giant storybook for
Little Girl which she immediately sat down to read.

Uh oh. Little Girl pees on Hay Street.

Little Girl has a shower.

They were brought to life by a small army of puppeteers or “Lilliputians” (after the tiny people in Gulliver’s Travels) who controlled them with a complicated network of ropes and pulleys and a lot of sweat and labour. 
This wasn’t at all what I expected. The details that went into these Giants, from their clothes, features, and quirky characters made me forget they were made of wood!  

Little Girl is about 6 metres in height and Diver a whopping 11 metres and when I saw them in front of me I actually got goosebumps. I felt tiny and a little scared but giddy and mesmerized at the same time. They made everyone feel like little children, clapping and chasing them through the city streets.
They had their separate routes from Friday morning, Little Girl searching for Diver and Diver searching for his anchor, until they were finally united on Saturday night. Cheers and tears erupted at their heartwarming embrace in Langley Park and the Giants settled down for a snooze. According to some reports they are supposed to be Uncle and Niece but I can’t confirm that.

Little Girl on her boat, searching for Diver.

Diver searching for his anchor.

Diver's Anchor

United at last!

Diver and Little Girl prepare to sleep.

Having a snooze.

On Sunday they attended an Aboriginal wreath laying ceremony and then walked the streets together, before boarding a barge and sailing off. We were all sad to see them go.

Walking the streets together.

Goodbye Giants!
Perth International Arts Festival promised this show would steal our hearts and it certainly did. This was a once in a lifetime event and I am grateful to have experienced it!!

I found some of these photos by combing through hashtags on the net, and also used some of my own pictures. Copyright Acknowledged.
♥, Sana xx

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