Dating back, at least, to Ancient Greece and possibly even earlier, marionettes have fascinated audiences. The delicate puppets, combined with skillful manipulation can lead to startling, lifelike performances. These puppetry performances are so deeply ingrained in cultures around the world, that many languages, from English to Hindu, have metaphors like "pulling the strings."
Most marionettes are small. They must be lightweight and shorter than the puppet-player in order to be easily handled. Some are larger and require the string-puller to work from an elevated position. The marionettes of the Royal de Luxe theatre company, however, dwarf all others. At up to 50-feet high, they are controlled by teams of performer-engineers, and are suspended from custom-built cranes and scaffolds.
The sheer scale of these puppets would be enough to draw a crowd.
Theatre founder Jean-Luc Courcoult doesn't stop there, however. These giants don't just walk in a parade. They tell a story that spans a stage the size of a city.
One of its most iconic figures, a deep sea diver, doesn’t limit himself to land.
This puppet heads straight for the nearest river, to make use of his oversized diving equipment.
The amount of detail the troupe puts into each figure is staggering. They blink, they speak, they even breathe.
The acrobatic coordination required to animate these behemoths is a show in its own right.
Rather than hide away from the audience, as some puppeteers do, the troupe members are put conspicuously on display.
Even a simple act, such as taking a shower, becomes a dramatic scene.
Humorously, the giants are provided with giant chairs, for their “time off.”
Giant treats, too.
Transportation options for such large people are limited...
And some are less luxurious than others.
Each puppet has its own unique personality.
Partly by design, partly through the hard work of the “Lilliputians” pulling the strings.
The puppets aren’t limited to humans, however. This elephant is an ornate showstopper.
With quite a few “passengers.”
Sometimes though, it’s the puppets who hitch a ride.
And they always do it in extravagant style.
Credit: Messy Nessy Chic