The Sultan's Elephant - Performances - London

London

The Sultan's Elephant show was performed in London from 4–7 May 2006. The show started with a rocket "crashing" in Waterloo Place on Thursday May 4, smashing up the tarmac, with smoke coming out from the bottom.

On Friday, the elephant arrived, along with the Sultan. An oversize marionette emerged from the rocket—this was the girl from the Sultan's dreams. The girl met up with the elephant. Friday evening the elephant wandered round St. James's, while the girl went on a trip around London on an opentop Routemaster bus.

On Saturday, the elephant walked to Trafalgar Square, where it rested over lunch. Then the girl marionette was lifted by a crane onto the elephant's trunk, and was carried on 'Grand Parade' back to Horseguards Parade, with the 'sultan' sightseeing with a troop of dancers on top of the elephant.

The girl has a needle and thread, and likes to sew things, including a series of cars that were 'sewn' to the tarmac.

On Sunday, the show finished with a Grand Finale, in which the girl climbed into the rocket, which then 'took off'. This involved the rocket firing, with smoke and flames coming out of the bottom. The rocket didn't go anywhere, but when the top was removed from the rocket, by a crane, the girl had disappeared. She had travelled in time.

Whilst in London, the elephant and the girl were stored at the Battersea Power Station, and were transported to the various sites in the early hours of the morning with a police escort. Many lampposts and traffic lights were removed to allow the elephant through. The police, who were more used to escorting large steel items overnight, were reported to have had fun with the event by making up explanations to members of the public. Between the performance days both the elephant and the girl were left sleeping at Horseguards Parade. After the performance the elephant was once again transported in the early hours of the morning back to Battersea Power Station. The return trip took longer than expected as some of the street furniture had been put back in place too early. The event, the biggest piece of free theatre ever staged in London, with an audience of a million people, was brought to England by production company Artichoke, who were also responsible for bringing the giant mechanical spider La Princesse to Liverpool in September 2008.

Read more about this topic:  The Sultan's Elephant, Performances

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