‘Thanks to its giant robotic minotaur and spider, La Machine caused a huge sensation in its new hometown of Toulouse back in early November. The 4-day Guardian of the Temple street theater production was followed one week later by the grand opening of La Halle de La Machine, its permanent workshop and menagerie for its fantastic creations.
While we knew these were both big hits, now we know how big.
As La Halle closed for the holiday season, the group released a statement indicating that 900,000 people witnessed the Guardian spectacle. And the 3-day inauguration drew 70,000 visitors. That included 10,000 people who rode the giant wooden and metal minotaur.
“The Guardian” show was conceived and presented by La Machine, an organization directed by François Delarozière. A native of Toulouse, Delarozière has been building giant robots for a couple of decades. He’s been staging similar street performances in other cities, but this marked his return home.
That inauguration in particular brought a lot of people out to the Halle’s new neighborhood of Montaudran who hadn’t passed by this corner of Toulouse in quite some time. The city is supporting the Halle as part of a larger project to transform Montaudran, along with housing and apartment construction and other cultural projects.
The Halle is closed now through February 8 as the troupe takes a well-earned breather.