Giant set to walk the streets of Crawley

Five metre-tall puppet Aura is poised to travel through Crawley seeking welcome.

Aura's eye
Aura's eye

Brought to life by Animated Objects Theatre Company, Aura’s travels are inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey.

Aura’s Odyssey will start at Gatwick Airport.

Spokeswoman Emma Berge said: “The identity of the five-metre tall puppet coming to Crawley this summer has been announced: Aura is a survivor from an updated version of Troy, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey being told on the Yorkshire coast, and will travel through Crawley as part of her Odyssey before she moves on to her next destination.

"Aura’s Odyssey will start at Gatwick Airport on Thursday, August 11 where she bears witness to those leaving and those arriving, before travelling on an open-top bus around neighbourhoods seeking welcome on Friday 12.

"She’ll be free to roam the town centre on Saturday coming to rest in County Mall Shopping Centre, then spending Sunday in Tilgate Park, where local residents will wish her well on the next stage of her journey.

" Aura’s journey will take in Gatwick Airport, Crawley town centre including County Mall and Tilgate Park. At each point on her journey local people are invited to share songs, music, poems and other welcome artworks to celebrate what the town means to its residents.”

Animated Objects Theatre Company is based in Scarborough, and specialises in large-scale events, outdoor theatre and giant artworks.

They created and presented Aura with the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District earlier this year where she was seen by thousands of people.

Kerry Carruthers, chief executive, said, “The scale of this project and the public involvement led by Animated Objects, is what brings this to life.

"This event series would not have been possible without the many hundreds of residents, businesses and community organisations taking this to their hearts.

"It makes Homer’s Odyssey feel as if it always had the Yorkshire Coast in mind.”

Her tour of the town is part of Enliven: You’re Welcome, a four-month programme of free events and workshops this summer celebrating Crawley New Town’s 75th anniversary. Funded by Crawley Town Centre BID, Arts Council England and Crawley Borough Council.”