An epic project set over two nights, involving 750 performers, and a world record bid, is planned for Scarborough seafront.
Orpheus the Mariner is the brainchild of Scarborough-based puppet specialists Animated Objects, run by husband and wife Lee and Dawn Threadgold. It is backed by Create – which runs Coastival.
They unveiled their massive mission to audience in the Spa Ocean Room.
“What we are proposing is an enormous piece of open air theatre with puppets ranging from 30ft tall to something the scale of Valley Bridge,” said Lee.
Mechanical monster crabs, lobsters and octopus will battle 30ft puppets – which each take 12 people to operate – on the beach before the heroes come face to face with an 80ft tall marionette called Hades.
“We are proposing to make a 26-metre tall giant,” said Lee of Hades. “The current world record is 17.82metres.” The puppet will be suspended from a crane in front of Valley Bridge as the tragic love story of Orpheus and Eurydice reaches its climax. The tale will be told over two nights – starting on Valentine’s Day 2014 and ending on the following day, which is a Saturday.
He wants musicians, actors, dancers, stage managers, carpenters, welders and engineers to volunteer. Every school in the area has been asked to get involved and Animated Objects will be holding workshops in which the giant puppet and other marinettes will be made.
“Hopefully, we are going to get 1,000 people from the area to take part and build part of this puppet,” said Lee.
The story will take place across the seafront, starting at the Spa, using the terrace and Sun Court, progressing to the harbour, and moving back along the beach to Valley Bridge, the underground car park and surrounding gardens,
“We want this to be a showcase for the whole area, a purely Yorkshire Project involving people from Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Bridlington and surrounding rural communities,” said Lee. “We are going to show the entire world that we can do something nobody has ever done before.