Royal de Luxe are an extraordinary European street theatre company, renowned on three continents but hardly known in Britain.
The director Jean Luc Courcoult founded the company in 1979, and they have performed all over the world ever since.
The company has visited countries all over Europe as well as Korea, China, Vietnam, Chile and Africa. Some of their most celebrated shows – including La véritable histoire de France, Roman photo tournage and Le péplum have been revived many times and performed in front of thousands of spectators. They spent six months in Africa and three in China
In the past dozen years, they have created a series of spectacular shows involving giant figures as big as 11 or 12 metres high. Shows are simple – the animal or giant arrives in town and lives its life, going about its business for a few days. Extraordinary interactions take place between passers-by and the performance; residents become enchanted with the activities of these miraculous beings and begin to follow their every move. By the end of the performance, huge crowds gather daily to watch the latest episode in the life of the visiting creature. The Sultan’s Elephant is the fifth in the series of giant pieces, the others being Le Géant tombé du ciel, Le géant tombé du ciel: dernier voyage, Retour d'Afrique and Les Chasseurs de girafes.
La visite du sultan des Indes sur son éléphant à voyager dans le temps was first performed in Nantes from May 19th to 22nd and in Amiens from June 16th to 19th 2005, on the occasion of the centenary of Jules Verne's death. This production was commissioned by the cities of Nantes and Amiens and has received a special grant from the Ministry of Culture and Communication.