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05 May 2006

Royal De Luxe's The Sultan's Elephant

Here's the story.

This amazing work, The Sultan's Elephant - a magnificent living construct of wood, mechanical genius, and joie de vivre - was inspired and created by France's highly-regarded Royal De Luxe street theatre company to commemorate the 100-year mark of the death of visionaire extraordinaire Jules Verne, in the town of Amiens in Somme, where the French writer lived the second half of his life, and died at the age of 77 in 1905.

As can be seen in the video, the Sultan's Elephant does indeed quite actually come to life. In particular due to the sounds surrounding the beast's actions and forward motion.

Their is a alchemical blend of dramaturgic elements, including the wizardly soundscaping. From the sound reinforcement providers Nexo's website came this very insightful release,

The centenary of Jules Verne’s death in 2005 has provided the inspiration for a unique 3-day spectacle featuring one of France's most innovative theatre companies, Royal de Luxe. Combining elements of street theatre, circus and carnival, the extraordinary event featuring a robot elephant and a giant doll demanded all of the expertise of French PA company Melpomen – and all of the NEXO inventory.

Royal de Luxe, which was established in the early eighties, has become famous for its street spectacles where creativity is teamed with extravagant production. The company lives up to its reputation with 'The Sultan and his Time-Travelling Elephant', unforgettable street entertainment which attracted more than 100,000 spectators in the two cities, Amiens in Somme and Rennes in Britanny, which had been home to Jules Verne, the father of science fiction.

"A spectacle from Royal de Luxe is made up of gigantism, surprises, astonishments and, most importantly, a high level of professionalism that everyone, participants and audience alike, remembers with emotion," says Trenchant.

According to the group and the above press release, audiences upwards of 100,000 people (!) follow the creature whereever it appears, so entrancing is it's performance. In the video, notice to what effect the music is used, as if laying down a magic carpet which brings the fantastic anachronistic mechani-bot elephant to life.

Baron Von Muchhaussen
! Is that you? Have you come back at last?!

And now, it has landed in London...



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