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When something new happens in Perth, people generally get behind it. With a cock-eyed optimism we see the potential in almost anything cultural. And this is what recently happened in the City of Perth when hundreds of thousands of people came to the city centre to see The Giants. We had, for want of a better phrase, a shit load of street theatre heaped upon us by way of The Giants; two humungous marionettes shipped over from Nantes, France as part of the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF).
The purpose of this work was to combine the centenary anniversary of Australian soldiers joining World War 1 in the Gallipoli campaign whilst celebrating aboriginal mythology. The Royal de Luxe street theatre company created an immersive experience where the audience is drawn into an attainable form of art, one that is egalitarian by nature, as we the audience were part of this journey.
The story, adapted from Fay Howe’s experience of being the last contact with hundreds of soldiers as they sailed away from Albany, WA. Intertwined with Aboriginal mythology and the ANZAC centenary worked perfectly to create an iconic Australian tale.
As The Giants made their slow walks through the city, in search of each other, the crowds looked on in delight. To be to close with The Giants it’s hard to not appreciate the spectacle. For every step they take seemingly dozens of people are flying on ropes to provide motivation to these wooden behemoths. As encouragement a truck crammed with musicians follows in close proximity, their rhythmic beats driving The Giants forward. Eventually they met and before long made their way to sea together.
As The Giants make their way home and we reflect on what we saw, and – more importantly – understanding, accepting and embracing the original descendants of this vast land. Whilst paying homage to those who gave their lives and their futures, to give us what we have today. Freedom.
Beyond grandiose, they encapsulated an idea that we are bigger than ever, yet never before in more need of others.