Being one of the oldest living statue companies we have performed for many high profile clients,
among them HRH the Queen herself at the "Party at the Palace" 80th birthday celebrations. Our costume collection
is the largest you will find in the UK, creating new and more realistic themed characters we are always moving forward
and have accrued a long list of glowing testimonials.
Historically we have been around for a long
time, but as a form of entertainment living statues have go back for at least a hundred years and probably a lot
more. Originally a form of circus sideshow the impresario and showman PT Barnum was known to have displayed Living Statues
as part of his repertoire of performance curiosities in the 1840s.
The tableau vivant, or group of living statues, was a regular feature of medieval and Renaissance festivities and pageantry, such as royal entries by rulers into cities. Typically a group enacting a scene would be mounted on an elaborate stand decorated to look like a
monument, placed on the route of the procession. A living statue appeared in a scene of the 1945 French masterpiece film Les
enfants du paradis
Tableaux Vivant, however, isn't really what we would consider modern
living statue performance to be. It was used as a way of evading theatre censorship to display nudity on stage, most notably
at London's Windmill Theatre in the 1930's and 40's. The theatre managers argued that the "no nudity on
stage" rules of the time were impractical. They pointed out that nobody could be offended by the display of a nude
statue as a work of art and under the maxim of "If you move, it's rude" went on to display nude girls holding
static poses on stage to sell out houses..
Living Statues have regularly been a feature of performance
art installations – notably by Gilbert and George in the 1960s. An interesting artistic novelty these performances
were strictly contained within the four walls of the gallery to be viewed by art lovers.
Little is known
about the origins of Living Statue performance as a form of street entertainment. They began to appear en masse
on the avenues of Europe at some point in the late Twentieth Century and their presence soon spread to the four corners
of the globe. One of the most famous early statue performers was Dublin's Dice Man in the 1980's and 90's. An
incredible character and pioneer of the art form the police tried numerous times to move him from his pitch as his crowds
were blocking the street - he found a solution in developing an ingenious imperceptibly-slow-walking performance that ensured
his crowds could stand and watch whilst he essentially kept moving on (albeit a yard and hour).