Over the last year or so we have got used to seeing living statues in Skegness. They come in different costumes; a man dressed as a cavalier, a Victorian lady with parasol and my favourite the angel. Human statues have a long history in European street theatre; especially in city’s like Rome and Barcelona and more recently they have been seen in our university cities and places like Covent Garden.
They can be classed as buskers; street actors who dress up use make up and pose in a still life position. The clever ones will know how to work a crowd and by using simple movements will draw people to them to deposit a coin for an action. I like the Angel who gives out small glass pebbles to young children who deposit a coin.
The latest living sculpture to appear on our street has puzzled me. Not quite sure what or who it is supposed to be, it wears a dark costume with a very fuzzy wig that almost covers its face. Its fingers squeak when they move and when someone deposits a coin will trigger sound affects, sometimes the Adams Family Theme or the chimes of large big Ben style clock. I like the use of sound I think that aspect of the performance will grow.
There are all kinds of characters used by living statues, below are just a few.
I enjoy watching these street performers and the reaction of young children and think it’s an important ingredient in a modern day high street setting. I believe that if we are to encourage people back to our high streets we need to use street theatre and performers to add a little entertainment.
Another idea could be to use interactive projected scenes on both floor and side screens as shown in this example. http://youtu.be/4pOJzMr2Jg0
The use of buskers and street performers will I believe become a more common site on our high streets in the future and there are many agencies springing up who specialise in providing these performers. Below are a few examples
Take a look at these funny vids of human statues on you tube