For three days, starting on November 1, actors from the French street-theater company La Machine will escort a 10-meter-tall dragon marionette in a performance across the city of Calais, France. “Le Dragon de Calais,” a massive fire-breathing dragon built of steel and carved wood, stars in the tale of a fantasy creature that emerges from the sea and encounters the people of Calais. After the performance, the dragon will remain in the city, becoming a new tourist attraction.
The project begins with the city’s desire to improve its image. The influx of migrants a few years ago up to 10,000 made the city talk about the political scene, let alone the tourist guides.
In the light of the problem, the state and local authorities have decided to grant Calais a “compensation fund”, an area contract: subsidies of around 100 million euros. Spend by 2020. The city, which had a time bet on a large amusement park (too expensive), finally trusted the Nantes company “La Machine”, which focused on the creation of urban monsters: the Great Elephant of Nantes, the Minotaur landed in Toulouse or to Beijing, Brussels or Liverpool sent bestiaries …
To make Calais speak differently. The goal of Natacha Bouchart, mayor of the city, is to make this animal “come from another world”, to make it a point of attractiveness and pride: “ Calais wants to become and become a 21st century seaside resort As a reference tourist destination on the Opal Coast, it’s a project that will take our breath away. “
Because the project is big. It is even necessary to talk more about animals in the plural, since from 2022 two “ Lures of Travel ” are capable of transporting 25 people each, and in the middle of the cars to “6 or 7 km / h “to move. h “, then a” family of a dozen iguanas “will settle in the city, with professional visits, a restaurant area, a shop or indoor activities completing the installation.
At the end of the exhibition weekend,” the dragon will settle in Calais to live a few decades “, between the waterfront and a special transparent nave Overlooking the city every day in mid-December and carrying about fifty Calaisiens or tourists on its back for a paid ride of about 30 minutes, it will mainly travel in one-way streets.
The dragon needed a two-year project.