The team behind the UK’s biggest street theatre spectacular taking place in Liverpool are looking to recruit an army of volunteers.
Preparations are well underway for Memories of August 1914, which will be this year’s national flagship cultural event – marking a centenary since the outbreak of the First World War.
The event will see the return of the Little Girl Giant and her playful pet Xolo explore the city streets, and the team behind the event are looking for around 500people to volunteer for a wide variety of roles including:
Runners/Production Assistants – taking on various roles during rehearsals
Shuttle Drivers – to provide transport for staff during rehearsals and the show itself
Interpreters – French speakers required to translate for the technical team
Benevol Stewards – becoming part of the human cordon around the giants to allow them to move through the crowds
Giant Operators (Lilliputians) – physically fit individuals required to move the giants along the streets
Sound Engineers – working alongside the technical team to implement production requirements
Pyro/Special Effects Assistants – working alongside the technical team
General volunteer – to welcome visitors in the city centre and the communities which the giants will travel through and be on hand to answer any questions or queries from members of the public. These volunteers will also form part of the already established City Stars programme and there may be opportunities to work as part of the wider International Festival for Business programme (further announcements will be made in the next few weeks)
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “There are so many different aspects to putting on a show like this and to make it a success it has to be one giant team effort. A hugely important aspect of this is the help we receive from members of the public.
“For Sea Odyssey we took on around 250 volunteers – this year we’re hoping to double that as there is more of a focus in getting ordinary people to become part of the show.
“Since we announced the event in January we’ve already had more than 200 people volunteer which just goes to show the excitement and anticipation surrounding Memories.
“This is a unique opportunity to be part of what is set to be the biggest street theatre event in the UK this year. To play an integral role in the team delivering this spectacular will be an unforgettable experience for all involved.”
All volunteers need to be over the age of 18 at the time of the show. Please note, for some of the roles, not only will availability be required across the show (25-27 July) but they will also be required for rehearsals from early July.
Andrea McGuire-Seery volunteered to take part in Sea Odyssey, and became part of the Benevol, and for three days followed the Little Girl Giant, her pet Xolo and the Uncle around the city.
She is planning to volunteer this year and said: “Being a Benevol as part of the Giant Spectacular in 2012 is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
“The sense of excitement and camaraderie among all of us who took part was fantastic and I can’t wait to be part of bringing the magic to the streets of Liverpool again as part of this year’s celebrations.”
In 2012 Colin Bordley took on the challenging role of becoming a Lilliputian and took part in rehearsals pre-show, and then for the three days operated the uncle/diver giant. He said: “Being a part of the army of Lilliputians during Sea Odyssey was an unforgettable experience, totally unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It was an unreal, amazing and often exhausting, but a thoroughly satisfying event to be part of.
“If I were to offer any advice to anyone considering applying for such a role, it would be to get down to the gym and do some stamina training. Being a Lilliputian is a very physically demanding role – especially in the arms, legs and stomach – and you need good levels of fitness and stamina to take part. A good pair of walking shoes/boots is a good idea too.
“I feel so proud to have done this for my home city – and I’m definitely going to get my application in for this year. Now I’ve got to get back to the gym!”
Memories or August 1914:
Memories of August 1914 is the UK’s flagship 2014 cultural event, marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The event is commissioned jointly by Liverpool City Council and 14-18 NOW, the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme.
Itwill be brought to Liverpool by street theatre tour de force Royal de Luxe, who captivated crowds of 800,000 people in 2012 with the Giant spectacular Sea Odyssey, generating £32million for the local economy.
The event will take place from 23-27 July 2014 and will see the huge marionettes explore the city as part of a brand new moving and emotional story recollecting a time when Britain was preparing for war.
The full story and route will be announced at a later date, but throughout the event the King’s Regiment and the Liverpool PALS will play a prominent role. There will be a focus on recruitment, and how Liverpool’s efforts impacted on the rest of the country.
This will only be the third time Royal de Luxe have performed in the UK. The first was in London in 2006 when 1.5million people were wowed by the Sultan’s Elephant.
The show will act as the finale for the 2014 International Festival for Business which will see more than one hundred events taking place in June and July with the aim of accelerating UK economic growth.