We went downtown for our first museum field trip---the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. As soon as we got off the metro, we saw a huge accident with buses on top of each other and cars upside down nearby. It looked really awful.
But when we got closer, the crowd standing around the accident was talking and laughing, having a great time. I thought the police had put the buses like that to show people what would happen if they kept driving like crazy, and Dad thought that maybe someone was making a movie.
The next day, there was a photo of the destroyed buses on the front page of the paper. The article said that a street-theater group from France, called Royal de Luxe, was presenting a play with giant puppets on the streets of downtown Santiago.
The play was called "The Hidden Rhinoceros," and it was about a giant rhinoceros that escaped from Africa, arrived in the North of Chile, and then ran all through the country, destroying everything in its path (like the buses we had seen). A giant girl who wanted to catch and stop the rhinoceros was trying to find it.
The play lasted three days, as the girl and the rhinoceros tramped through Santiago. On the last day, we went to downtown again to try to see the giant puppets. The news said that the girl had captured the rhino, put it in a cage, and would take it to a plaza called "Plaza Italia" at noon.
We got there right on time, and there were THOUSANDS of people, some selling things, others taking photos, playing music, and waiting for the giant girl.
I had never seen so many people in one place at the same time. There was trash and dust everywhere. It was also very hot.
Finally the little giant girl arrived.
Before we could see her, we could hear the music from the band that followed her. The giant rhinoceros was also behind her, in a cage, snorting, kicking and even pooping! (fake poop that looked very real).
There were many men dressed in red colonial clothes pulling ropes to make the Little Giant walk, blink, move her arms, her head, tongue, and mouth.
The whole show was fantastic. If you have high speed Internet, you can see a short sample video of it here.
Royal de Luxe has presented the little giant girl in France, Belgium, England, and now Chile. Here is a great video I found online of when the puppets were in London, England, last year (with an elephant instead of a rhino).
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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007