Central London 4-7 May 2006
‘This morning I went to see the Sultan's Elephant and it reduced me to tears … it was the most beautiful live event I've seen in Britain.’
‘I brought my daughter in from Oxford to see it, and we both found it exciting, imaginative, and strangely emotional. I am very envious that such an imaginative true fairy tale could trump traffic in no-nonsense London … the streets were transformed into a poetic space rather than a noisy and dangerous one.
‘The whole event was a success beyond anyone’s imagination, enabling not only Londoners but also visitors to connect with the city in a truly groundbreaking way.”’
‘My life was truly touched by your amazing event. Thank you, thank you! I'm not an "anorak", saddo or weirdo, nor am I a child!! I'm a professional woman who is still in touch with my inner child. I loved the Elephant and found that I was in love as soon as I saw him sleeping in Horse Guards Parade on the Friday. I felt a huge emptiness afterwards.’
‘We were delighted to have played some small part in bringing this remarkable venture to fruition. To have (literally!) brought the centre of London to a standstill was extraordinary in itself. … this was an event that captured people’s hearts in a way I’ve not seen before in this country.’
‘What began with mild curiosity, ended up being a full obsession... I got nothing accomplished this weekend, because I ended up following these characters around town as if I'd joined a cult! Well, sign me up! I'm a writer and I cannot even think of the right words to express the experience - it was beyond stupendous, amazing, and just a bunch of glorious fun. … I was amazed at the joyous spirit that seemed to unify all of London.’
‘I have the strangest feeling today, something in between grief and joy, sad that I will never see that beautiful Little Giant or that gargantuan Elephant and happy that I had the privilege to meet them. Thank you for reminding me how to be a child and for realising that cynicism is not a way of life!’
‘In London just last month, over a million people were captivated by the story of a little girl and a time-travelling elephant. Even now it seems incredible, but the spell that 'The Sultan's Elephant' cast on those who saw it meant that for those few precious hours, everyone involved felt a sense of kinship and connectedness. Part of a single life-changing experience. And all in a single city.’
‘Just wanted to say thank you. For the first time since the London bombs my daughter rang home with that sparkle back in her voice. She'd gathered with others to watch 'The Sultan's Elephant'. It just made the difference.
‘...the most uplifting experience that I have had in a very long time indeed. I can't really tell you why it has made me so happy - I just know that it has.’
‘I spent a large part of last Friday in the elephant's company along with an amazingly disparate crowd of others, and I can honestly say that it was one of the most uplifting, joyous, life-enhancing days I have ever spent. Upwards of a million people turned out to see the elephant and its entourage over a four-day period and many of them have testified to the power of the event. But, although it is wonderful to know that statistic, no amount of statistical analysis will capture the value of the elephant's visit or why it will be remembered, and there will be no way of demonstrating any direct causal relationship between it and economic, social or educational outputs. So what were all these people responding to? I think they were recognising that art, like cuckoos and spring, makes you feel better just by being itself.’
‘A brilliantly simple idea, fantastically executed. It turned the whole of central London into a stage and all of us in the 'audience' into players - it was accessible, brilliantly organised and choreographed, completely without evidence of sponsorship, logos, hamburger stalls - absolutely surreal. Outstanding. Thanks so much. Do it again!’
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‘I wasn’t prepared for the magical quality of it…enthralling and enchanting. … how extraordinary it was that you could see the operators working the elephant yet you were totally convinced that it was alive. Its eyes, ears, feet, everything, especially that trunk, were real. …one of the amazing moments was waiting for the elephant to appear, hearing the noise of the band, the trumpeting of the elephant and the expectation of the crowd, and then the elephant’s head appeared round the corner of Charles Street and there it was, huge and mighty and enthralling all over again.’