Giant puppets descend on cities all over the world to tell stories on a city-wide scale, unconstrained by the walls of mere theaters, creating an incredible show that draws thousands of visitors wherever they go.
Royal de Luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company founded in 1979. The company has performed in France, Belgium, England, Germany, Iceland, Chile, Australia, Mexico and Ireland. Using gigantic, elaborate marionettes to tell stories that take place over several days and wind through entire cities, puppeteers maneuver the huge marionettes — some as tall as forty feet — through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way.
Founders Jean-Luc Courcoult, Véronique Loève and Didier Gallot-Lavallée directed, with the help of fellow actors and musicians, their first production Cape Horn.
The show was played on the streets and in public open spaces, as the troupe felt that it was easier to reach an audience by going outside rather than trying to entice them into a theater. The trio increased their performances with a new production in 1980, The Mysteries of the big freezer and took the name of Royal de Luxe, a nod to the model of multi-track tape they used for writing their shows.
Royal de Luxe developed a show extending over three days, to tell a story to an entire city by adapting to that city, a concept that has led to several productions. Below are pictures and video of these incredible shows.
Here are some videos of these incredible marionettes in action:
The Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe - A photo essay in The Atlantic with lots of incredible pictures
- Royale de Luxe – Website of the theater troupe