Sunday, May 7, 2006File:The Sultans Elephant spraying water.JPG

The Sultan’s Elephant, a giant piece of street theatre by French group Royal de Luxe, has been entertaining Londoners over the course of this weekend. The show started on Thursday, when a ‘crashed rocket’ was in place at Victoria Place. On Friday, an oversized marionette of a young girl emerged from the rocket and met with the giant mechanised elephant. Over the course of the weekend, these two giant puppets have been parading around London streets, closed especially for the event.

Whilst Friday remained hot and sunny, the weekend turned wetter, but the rain didn’t seem to put off the crowds, some of who received a second soaking from the elephant’s trunk! The elephant stopped at Trafalger Square over lunchtime on the Saturday, before parading to Horse Guard’s Parade, where seating had been specially erected around a giant stage.File:Giant puppet girl licks lolly.jpg

Over ten puppeteers operate the elephant, made mostly of wood, using a complex arrangement of hydraulics and motors. The elephant moves its feet, wags its tails, waves and squirts water from its trunk, flaps its ears, blinks, and can even open its mouth to reveal a moving tongue. The girl marionette is held on a big frame, and was given a ride on the elephant’s trunk using a crane. The girl has been seen licking a giant lollipop, and even do a wee on the road.

The spectacle will end on Sunday with a grand finale.

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