Success for Swindon's giant sea puppet performance

By Barrie Hudson - 1 August 2022

CommunityBusinessArts and Culture

Crowds came to Swindon's town centre to enjoy a giant puppet show highlighting the climate emergency.

Called Out of the Deep, it featured four-metre puppet and a contemporary dancer.

inSwindon BID Co, in partnership with the Wyvern Theatre, welcomed the spectacle to the town centre to help celebrate Oceans Awareness Week and raise awareness of the climate crisis.

Local businesses embraced the event and a spokesperson for one of them, Hays Travel, said: “It was fantastic to see. It brought many visitors into the Town Centre which was wonderful. A really great event.” 

Created by Autin Dance Theatre, the performance featured a gigantic puppet operated by five world-class puppeteers. 

The event was designed specifically for family and festival audiences and told the magical story of Eko, a sea giant who rose from the deep ocean and who encountered, on the shore, a courageous little girl called Violet.

The story is about the power of empathy and collaboration between these two beings.

The day opened with a 20-minute promenade of the giant puppet interacting with the local environment, businesses, and the audience, whilst headed to Wharf Green where there was a 30-minute dance theatre duet.

 

Visitor Sarah Brookes said: “What a fantastic day. We were so impressed by Eko and the puppeteers, we travelled in specially to see them. It was just great. 

"Wharf Green was an excellent place to experience the outside performances, everyone loved it. The kids really enjoyed the craft activities too.” 

Alongside the performances there were fun craft activities, run by local organisations Artsite and Prime Theatre, as well as the Wyvern Theatre, which were very popular with families using recycled materials to make their own monsters. 

inSwindon BID Co Director Anita Bellinger said: “The presence of Eko the sea giant was spectacular. It was a stunning and awe-inspiring performance by Autin Dance, simply amazing puppeteering and choreography. 

"The awareness of the climate crisis was raised, and it was incredible to experience this through live theatre that enlivened the whole area, free and accessible to all. We will definitely be working to provide more events like this in partnership with our fabulous Wyvern Theatre and our fellow creative partners.”

Wyvern Theatre Manager Laura James said: “It has been a really incredible experience having Out Of The Deep Blue with us in Swindon today. Watching Eko walk through the Town Centre followed by crowds in awe of him was simply magical and something I won’t forget for a long time. What a pleasure to host such an event along with inSwindon BID Co.”

Created last year, Out of the Deep Blue has toured extensively across the UK.

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