Notes on New Model Theatres

Authored by: Mark J. Sussman

The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  July  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415705400
eBook ISBN: 9781315850115
Adobe ISBN: 9781317911722


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La Petite Geante, the giant girl marionette of the Royal de Luxe troupe from Nantes, France, strides into a park or a street in Guadalajara, Liverpool, or Berlin. Suspended from a motorized crane and manipulated by a crowd of red-liveried engineers with ropes, guy-lines, and pulleys – attendants who seem Lilliputian next to her – she takes a nap, receives a shower from the equally gigantic Sultan’s Elephant, takes a boat ride, and meets a mysterious undersea diver who emerges from a local river or canal. The pageant of giant puppets and tiny human operators is surrounded by an audience that forms in the street and follows the troupe, their daily routine interrupted. Huge, calm, and silent despite all the human activity of tending to the puppets, these urban theatrical interventions take four or five days to perform. 1

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