FRENCH street theatre company Royal de Luxe has arrived in Limerick ahead of the massive Giant’s Saga show, routes for which have now also been released.
The 30 foot Grandmother Giant arrived this Monday ahead of the show, which takes place from September 5-7 and is expected to attract upwards of 200,000 people into the city.
Rehearsals will take place over the coming weeks, with the monstrous marionette to begin ‘her’ amble around the city at 10am on Friday, September 5.
The Giant will arrive by train before beginning her “weekend exploration” of Limerick, with spectators urged to gather anywhere along the routes.
Over the following two days she will call to Sarsfield Barracks, the Lee Estate and Shelbourne Park - among many other locations - before departing by boat from Limerick Docks. A number of city streets will be affected and will be closed, while preparatory work has already begun to clear the way for the procession.
“Preparations are in full swing. It is all going very well,” said Iseult Byrne, project director.
“We are working closely with a lot of the statutory services and fine tuning a lot of the details and we are very happy with how that is all progressing.
“The Giant has actually arrived to Limerick - she has started her holidays here and some of the rehearsals will start now. We will work with local musicians, Irish actors and people like that to bring the actual show together, technically as well as physically, over the next few days.”
Work has been ongoing on the show for more than 12 months, but will really ramp up over the next few days.
Jean Luc Courcoult, founder and artistic director of Royal de Luxe, is expected to address the media next week, while the gardai - members of whom travelled to Liverpool to see the show recently - are also to host a press conference next week to discuss policing of the event and the traffic management plan.
Disruption to city businesses should be minimal, with the Giant to ‘rest’ between 12pm and 4pm on the Friday, and the major crowds are expected to flock to Limerick on the Saturday for the longest full performance.
The Giant will stop at various points around the city, and is followed by a procession, including a live band, with elements of an original story relating to Limerick forming a major part of the elaborate show.
“The idea behind the whole thing is that the giant comes to town and visits a city like anybody would normally visit - so the giant is walking around the roads and visiting things that we would see as well,” said Iseult.
“We have said it all along, Limerick is the smallest city that the giant - any giant - has ever been in to, I think we are in a situation where we are doing a bit more lapping than we would do in bigger cities, but it is very exciting that the Giant is coming down and around O’Connell Street and up to the Barracks.”
For full details on routes and road closures, see Royal de Luxe Limerick.