Bringing the Elephants to Life: Part 1 | Circus 1903

Bringing the Elephants to Life: Part 1 | Circus 1903

So the reason I brought elephants back to
the circus is: for me they are the classic, grandest, and most overwhelmingly amazing
creatures that you’d ever see in a circus show. Back in the turn of the century, animals were
a huge part of the circus. So this was a way that I could bring back
the grandeur of having the largest ever African elephant in a show. For me, it was really about the emotion and
bringing these animals to life on stage. I went and saw War Horse many, many years
ago and was absolutely blown away by the artistry. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the
War Horse puppets and, the sculpture and the art of designing the puppet is about creating
something that triggers those recognitions in the audience. It’s got to feel like an elephant more than
it’s got to look like an elephant. We’ve got two puppet elephants here – a
mother and a child. And they’re totally different. The Mum and the baby elephant are just so
beautiful, and the relationship is really just so warming for everybody. That job of imagining an elephant happens
somewhere between the puppeteers on stage, and the audience in the auditorium. The first thing you think when you see it
is you say ‘that’s an elephant,’ the second thing you think is … ‘it’s a
bit magical.’

Dereck Turner

1 thought on “Bringing the Elephants to Life: Part 1 | Circus 1903

  1. goldleaf3333 says:

    Elephants belong in the wild, not performing unnatural tricks for humans. Why don't you take those gorgeous puppets, so life like! – and put them into a wilderness play? That would do far more to educate the public to their natural ways. This only perpetrates the abuse and the myth that these magnificent beings are put here solely for humans to use and abuse for entertainment. Nothing could be more wrong.

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