We had no idea The Giants would be in Liverpool. They appear in Liverpool every two years for one weekend only. The Giants come from Nantes and perform a circuit that sees this spectacle travel across Europe.
The puppets themselves are stunning. The crew powering their movements are impressive, highly coordinated, and dressed delightfully.
During the weekend, The Giants travelled across Liverpool performing a story. It was captivating and we were able to attend two sessions. We saw all three of the characters present this year. In past years a diver, the father of the granddaughter we saw, had been involved but he was not around this year.
The crowds in Liverpool were huge but easy going. We heard a father tell his family not to worry about getting too close. There was no need push forward. The Giants were tall enough that almost any viewing point would be a good location. It was good advice and he was proved right.
The rig holding the puppets was over six metres tall. Yet while watching the puppets it was easy to forget about the ropes, pulleys, and crew behind the motion.
To walk the grandmother, members of the crew leap off a platform pulling down with their body weight against a rope. Each leap was coordinated with another member of crew leaping off the other side of the same platform. In this way the grandmother’s legs lifted and she appeared to walk.
The use of three languages was a treat: German, French, and English were all used. The grandmother told her story in German, the crew spoke in French, and the narrator spoke to the assembled crowds in English.
I have put together a short film of The Giants.
We should have known about The Giants visit beforehand. We did not but were lucky. It was a highlight of our trip to Liverpool this summer.