by Rose Rushe
A WEALTH of private sponsorship has enabled Limerick City of Culture bring on its own 30-foot Giant from renowned street theatre company, Royal De Luxe.
The weekend of September 5, 6 and 7 will have us play host to ‘The Giant’s Journey’ in a customised 72-hour adventure with the 9meter Giant (yet to be built), visible and free to all on a 24/ 7 basis.
He’s a mechanical mythical creature to be hoisted and moved along by people and pulleys, Lilliputian style.
“It has taken us a long time to get it,” agrees Limerick Arts Officer Sheila Deegan of this awfully big adventure. “The Giant’s Journey’ will be designed to reveal Limerick and all its history. Royal de Luxe has never performed in a city the size of ours – Mexico and Liverpool are more on their scale.
“The estimated influx into Liverpool in 2012 for their Giant was 125,000 people per day”. €35million in city revenue was generated which bodes will for Treaty City, hoping to magnetise the country for this epic entertainment that will be of constant value in the moment, and subsequently on a scale of multiples.
She speaks of a crew of 90 required, half of these to be local and comprised of “musicians, electricians, welders, hence the expected economic impact locally”.
At the press reception in Strand Hotel to confirm conflicting rumour since January, vice chair of City of Culture Tim O’Connor delighted in hailing “an clár an speisialta seo” as “the largest outdoor event in Ireland this year and a flagship event for the city of culture… Royal de Luxe performs in three cities only for 2104”.
He invoked the next City of Culture designation in 2018 and declared it a national duty to live up to expectation and set precedent. “The Giant’s Journey is a free event for all the family, a fantastic example of what this year is about”.
Operating out of Culture Factory, Royal de Luxe commits to a unique interactive connection with the city and visitors.
We have yet to year what this coup will cost; Culture director Mike Fitzpatrick impishly described outlay “as a floating process”.
“We have mandated ourselves as a city to do do this. The Giant captures the imagination nationally”.