In 1889, Iris, escapes from the orphan’s laundry in Melbourne and stows away on a ship bound for France where she hopes to live with her Aunty Nell. In the Port of Marseilles she meets Etta, a wild Gypsy girl who dreams of winning the luck that comes from being the first to shake the hand of the new Gypsy King when he is chosen in Paris. In Marseilles, the two girls meet Drovetti, an animal trader who has brought a gift from Ali the Great, Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt to the Paris World Expo – Zarafa, the first giraffe to be seen in France. But the only way the giraffe can get to Paris is to walk. Etta convinces Drovetti that she and Iris can do it and the two set off across France. Along the way they meet a sad old man, Mister Saisson, who plays them sorrowful music on his oboe. When circumstances conspire to delay them, the little band is rescued by the eccentric aviator, Santos-Dumont who is flying his dirigible to Paris to compete for the prize of the first person to fly around the new Eiffel Tower at the Paris World Expo. And so, the group flies into Paris only to discover that Zarafa's fate is not what they expected. |Almost everything that happens in this story is true… it just didn’t all happen in this way or in this order. The Sadness of Mister Saisson is a fictionalised historical tale using performance, dance puppetry and music. It is underscored by the music of Camille Saint-Saens (which can be played from recorded sources or by a live orchestra)

  • adventure with puppetry and orchestra
  • 90
  • 10 total
  • 4 female identifying, 6 male identifying
  • young people
  • 18+, 8 to 12, 12 to 16, 16 to 18
  • young adult, adult, all ages
  • Australian Script Centre


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