We think we’re safe in saying that no one was really prepared for the spectacle of The Sultan’s Elephant. How a lumbering beast of that size managed to take Londoners by surprise and then melt their cynical hearts is a mystery right up until you first see it move. When was the last time you saw so many grown ups outrunning the kids to get a glimpse of something magical?
Good on BBC4 then for having the gumption to get a documentary about the visitors on our screens so quickly:
Documentary tracking the recent free theatre spectacle of a 40-foot articulated elephant, containing a sultan and his harem, weaving through the streets of central London. The mechanical wonder, weighing 40 tons, was created by theatrical magicians, Royal de Luxe. What sort of reaction will the moving show get from Londoners and tourists alike? Award-winning film-maker Chris Terrill follows the elephant’s trail.
It screens on Thursday, 18 May, at 7:10pm.