Based in Nantes, France, the street theater company Royal de Luxe performs around the world, primarily 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 12 meters (40 ft) — through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way. Gathered here are images of several recent Royal de Luxe performances, from Belgium, México, Germany, Chile, and England.
A giant marionette, operated by performers, walks in Berlin, Germany, on October 2, 2009. The French marionette street theater company Royal de Luxe gave open air performances around the Day of German Unity in Berlin. The artists used the giant puppets to tell the story of separation and recovery to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years earlier. A giant deep sea diver puppet, part of a street theater production entitled “Sea Odyssey”, walks through the streets in Liverpool, England, on April 20, 2012. Two puppets, a man and a girl, his niece, roamed through the city’s streets looking for each other during the three day production. The free event, organized by French company Royal de Luxe was one of a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic.
People touch and photograph a giant marionette of a dog during the first day of a street theater in Guadalajara, México, on November 26, 2010. The three-day performance by Royal de Luxe called “The Mexican Giant, the dog Xolo and the Little Indian Girl,” is based on a mural by late Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The Little Giantess has a shower in front of Berlin’s City Hall, on October 2, 2009.
A giant deep sea diver marionette is walked through the crowd during a performance in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, on October 3, 2009.
The Sultan’s Elephant moves along Piccadilly on the final day of a street performance in London, on May 7, 2006.
(For the full display of photographs of the Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe please visit: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2012/05/the-giant-marionettes-of-royal-de-luxe/100293/)