Anyone who suggests that full body puppets such as those that Puppets By Post offers are irrelevant to 21st-century tastes and sensibilities probably hasn’t seen any of the performances by ‘The Giants’, the puppets by the French street theatre company Royal de Luxe that are making their third and final appearance in the city of Liverpool this weekend.
With the makers of the Giants having already confirmed that their visit to the city and across the Mersey in Wirral will be the last outing for the oversized marionettes before they are retired, local residents are making the most of the opportunity to see them up close and personal. Furthermore, it’s fair to say that emotions are running high.
Welcome repeat visitors to Merseyside
The Giants previously appeared in Liverpool in 2012 and 2014, drawing six-figure audiences, and the puppets’ last show is taking place as part of the Liverpool Dreams event from 4th to 7th October, celebrating a decade since Liverpool’s spell as European Capital of Culture.
Large crowds had already started gathering to appreciate the puppets on Friday 5th October as they made their way through the city centre and Wirral, with one of the marionettes appearing at Fort Perch Rock. The action began, however, at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, where the Little Boy Giant puppet could be seen ‘sleeping’ in a hammock on Thursday.
Other highlights of the weekend’s festivities include a giant raft at Canning Dock, a massive fork spearing a car roof outside St Luke’s Church and a huge butter knife splitting a bus in two near Lime Street Station. It all helps to ensure plenty of visual stimulation for those exploring the 20-mile route taken by the puppets until the celebrations come to a close on Sunday.
“I am very sad”
As the event loomed, Royal de Luxe artistic director Jean-Luc Courcoult said he had made a “firm decision” to end the Giants saga, explaining: “If we carry on doing the same thing it wouldn’t churn up the same emotion in people but, at the same time, I am very sad.”
He added that of all of the places where the show had been held, “Liverpool remains a bright star in the Milky Way.”
It certainly saddens our own team here at Puppets By Post to see the end of the Giants’ remarkable association with Liverpool since the first, Titanic-inspired event – Sea Odyssey – six years ago. Nonetheless, it delights us to see yet more examples of how hand, marionette and full body puppets alike still have the power in 2018 to capture imaginations, even among people who might have presumed themselves largely resistant to puppets’ charms.
Why not start your own exciting and educational journey with full body puppets – whether as a parent, guardian, teacher or even professional puppeteer – by helping yourself to some of the best of them from our own well-stocked online store?