The countdown is on for the return of the Giants to Liverpool
The Giants will return to Liverpool from 23-27 July as part of the Memories of August 1914 commemorations to mark the start of the First World War. You can now download a copy of the map showing the routes that the Little Girl Giant and her grandma will be taking around the streets of Liverpool from Friday 25 July to their farewell on Sunday 27 July.
A massive call out has gone out for volunteers for this year’s biggest street theatre event and now 120 people have the chance to be part of the show itself.
For the first time in its 21 year history of producing jaw-dropping giant events, the company behind the theatrical spectacle, Royal de Luxe, is asking members of the public to play a central role in their production.
Although the full story is yet to be revealed for Memories of August 1914, part of it will focus on the recreation of the recruitment of the Liverpool Pals battalions, which 100 years ago saw men volunteer alongside their family members, neighbours and work colleagues, signing up to defend Britain on the battlefields of Europe.
The team is after 120 men to volunteer to take part in Memories which runs from 23-27 July, with the main action taking place from 25-27 July. To apply you must:
- be over 18 years of age
- be physically fit as marching repeatedly will be required.
- be available for rehearsals on the 27-30 June, 16, 19 and 24-27 July
- be able to supply your own costume – period civilian outfits are welcomed as are period military uniforms (of the era)
The deadline for applications is 10pm Tuesday 6 May. For full details on how to apply visit www.giantspectacular.com/getinvolved and fill in the Liverpool Pals Battalions re-enactment volunteer application form.
Founder and Artistic Director of Royal de Luxe, Jean Luc Courcoult, said: “We put our heart and soul into these shows and it’s hugely important for us that our giants tell a story which resonates with the city they are exploring.
“Liverpool has such a rich history and the Pals is an incredible and inspirational part of that – and one that we had to incorporate in the show. When we looked at developing the idea, we decided we must recruit an army, and there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted it to be made up of people from Liverpool.
“We aim to recreate the recruitment spirit of 100 years ago, and we’re positive the finished product will be an emotional highlight for many. “
Tony Wainwright, Secretary of the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund, said: “We are delighted that Royal De Luxe have chosen to incorporate the story of the formation of the Liverpool Pals in the production Memories of August 1914.
“The Liverpool Pals story is a remarkable one. Following Lord Derby’s promise that Liverpool would provide one battalion of men from the business community of Liverpool, the response was overwhelming. Between August and November 1914 not one but four battalions were formed and there were enough volunteers to form two reserve battalions. They went on to distinguish themselves during the course of the war, seeing action in some of the fiercest battles.
“Sadly over 2800 men fell in action and never saw the peace for which they gave their lives. On 31 August 2014 a memorial will be unveiled in Lime Street station. The date is significant, being 100 years to the day of the first volunteers signing up at St Georges Hall to join the Liverpool Pals.
“We hope that the Pals being involved in the show will raise the profile of their story and allow many more people to discover their heroism. The city of Liverpool should be rightly proud of OUR Pals, the first to be formed and the last to be stood down. With the help of Royal de Luxe we hope to show just how proud we should be.”
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In exciting news, the Giants are set to explore Kensington when they return this summer as part of their latest Liverpool adventure
Part of the UK’s flagship 2014 World War One commemoration event, Memories of August 1914, welcomes back the Little Girl Giant and her faithful pet dog Xolo in a special event marking the outbreak of the Great War.
The entire event runs from 23-27 July (with the main action taking place from the 25-27) and is expected to be the largest ever cultural event to ever take place in Newsham Park. The beautiful Grade II Victorian Park will be the sleep-over location for the giant visitors on the Friday night with the mesmerising marionettes exploring the streets around Gardener’s Drive and Sheil Road.
And continuing the epic journey, some of the action will also take place in the Peel-owned Clarence Dock area which is part of a world heritage site and Liverpool Waters. The huge space will also act as their sleep-over destination on the Saturday night, and will easily accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people expected to turn out to watch the spectacular as the story unfolds.
As with the 2012 Sea Odyssey event, it is hoped that by taking some of the activity out of the main city centre areas Memories will shine a light on areas outside of the city centre connecting with those communities and showcasing the potential development and investment opportunities.
Founder and Artistic Director of Royal de Luxe – the street theatre company who are bringing the event to the city – and officially our favourite eccentric Frenchman Jean Luc Courcoult, said: “It is our ethos to make sure free events touch the heart of communities and neighbourhoods. Seeing these beautiful giants walking past rows of houses, local shops and parks means that we are bringing magical theatre to an audience who may not usually engage with art. We are passionate that art connects communities so we literally take art to their doorstep.”
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Sea Odyssey had a huge impact on north Liverpool and we received fantastic feedback from residents who were delighted that an event of this scale was performed on their doorstep. It gave them a real opportunity to showcase the area and in turn engendered pride, inspired creativity and built community cohesion.
“We hope for a similar reaction this year, particularly in the Newsham Park area, and we look forward to working with residents, businesses and community groups on how they can make the most of this amazing opportunity which will shine a national spotlight on Liverpool.”
The event takes place from 23-27 July. Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 July will be a static (i.e no giants walking around the city) city centre element of the show.
The full route and story won’t be released for another couple of months, but the current performance times are:
- Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July – 10am to 7-7.30pm (approx)
- Sunday 27 July – 9am to 1pm (approx)