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Royal de Luxe – Amazing Giant Mechanical Marionettes

Topics: Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | June 12, 2009

The French performance troupe Royal de Luxe is at it again, this time with a three-story tall deep sea diver in the town of Nantes


This clip gives a sense of the incredible
scale of a Royal de Luxe performance

I often think that I might have been much happier if I had run away to be a carny when I was sixteen, which I very nearly did. My fear of rejection at that age prevented this; I had far too many teeth and didn’t smell funny. But seriously, I’ve had a love of theater, puppets, the circus, the carnival, and the macabre from as early as I can remember. Which is why I instantly fell in love with Royal de Luxe the first time I encountered them in 2006, when I saw this magical clip of a giant puppet girl (I honestly almost weep every time I watch that) from their production The Sultan’s Elephant, set to the song “Décollage” from Balayeurs Du Désert’s Jules Verne Impact. The troupe is still at it, with a new production The Giant Diver (Le scaphandrier géant), which is being presented in their hometown of Nantes at Estuaire 2009 (both of those sites are in French). The picture below is from this nicely assembled overview of the story of the giant diver and his niece. There are many more fantastic photos here on Flickr. Apparently, even when Royal de Luxe does smaller works they’re big; although their show La Révolte des Mannequins had no giants in the cast, it was presented in several cities, in 13 shopfronts, and over 10 days. I can’t say enough about my admiration for these artists, just ponder the scale, impact, and magic of what they’re doing. I hope someday they tour the states; so far they’ve only toured parts of Europe, Chile, and Australia.