Giant event to take over city park

The return of the giants this summer will see them exploring Kensington as part of their latest Liverpool adventure.

Set to be 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.

Clarence Dock
Clarence Dock

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 – 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: “We have spent months working with the French team looking at the route, with one of our main aims being that the visit of the giants should benefit wider communities.

“It’s also about bringing large numbers of people into a community which they may have never visited before, allowing them to see the hidden gems of the city and hopefully transform their perceptions of that area.

“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.”

Ian Pollitt, development investment surveyor at Peel Holdings said: “There’s no doubt that the return of the giants will be a spectacular event and will draw people to the city in their thousands. We want to be part of this remarkable occasion and provide a taste of the future we have in store for Liverpool Waters.

“By opening the doors of Liverpool Waters to key cultural events such as the giants and the new drive-in cinema at Clarence Dock, we are making the very most of the city’s greatest natural asset: its waterfront.”

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 will not 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)

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