Swindon Town Centre’s First Giant Sea Puppet Performance a Huge Success

A 4metre tall puppet tells a moving tale through dance, movement and masterful puppeteering

The public turned up in their droves to enjoy “Out of the Deep”: a large-scale outdoor performance featuring a 4metre tall sea giant puppet and a contemporary dancer, inspired by the themes of the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis. inSwindon BID Co. in partnership with the Wyvern Theatre welcomed the spectacle to Swindon Town Centre, to help celebrate Ocean’s Awareness Week and raise awareness of the climate crisis, on Sunday 31st July.

The local businesses embraced the event and high street business 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, this physical theatre performance featured a gigantic puppet operated by 5 world-class puppeteers and a contemporary dancer. 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 – a story about the power of empathy and collaboration between these two beings – an ancient creature, a dispirited teen.

The day opened with a spellbinding 20-minute promenade of the giant puppet interacting with the local environment, businesses, and of course the audience, whilst headed to Wharf Green where there was an enthralling 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, says, “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, says, “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 in 2021, ‘Out of the Deep Blue’ have toured extensively across the UK. Pre-recorded Audio Descriptions were available including audio notes prior to live performances and streamed AD in vernacular English.

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