2012: A Sea Odyssey

Get set for a ripping yarn you’re not going to want to miss…

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it. So said great thinker of our times Ferris Bueller, and it’s one of the finest, most practical pieces of wisdom a person can live by. We’re put in mind of this cherished quote with the impending visit of – at last count – a trio of giants, about to gatecrash the city.

At 9.30am on Friday 20th April, the extravaganza is due to kick off with a little girl giant waking from her slumber in Stanley Park. Don’t panic though, she’s not here to rampage, Cloverfield-style through the city, she’s on a quest to learn news about her father, a stowaway who perished with the sinking of the Titanic, and her search has brought her to Liverpool.

Little does the girl know, her Uncle has also arrived in Liverpool; while scouring the wreck of the stricken liner and laying his brother to rest, the Uncle finds a letter left by him for his daughter (are you keeping up?). Now, after 100 years of walking the ocean floor to deliver the letter, he’s finally set to emerge from the depths – good timing – and hopefully meet up with his niece.

If none of this is making any sense, don’t worry, we’ll explain. The Giant Spectacular, brought to us by the internationally renowned marionette street theatre company, Royal De Luxe, is set to be one of the year’s most fantastical events taking us on a trip following the giants as they make their way through the city.

In many ways, Giant Spectacular is a numbers game. There are three main players; the girl, standing at 30ft, her uncle, towering above her at 50ft, and yesterday brought the announcement of a dog called Xolo, who will follow the girl on her odyssey through the city. With a performance spanning a total of 28 hours, and with more than 20 cranes required to manoeuvre them through the city, it’s anticipated around 250,000 people will flock to see the performance.

The last time the city saw anything the like of this was with the hugely successful La Princesse (produced by a different company, La Machine) in the joint Biennial and Capital of Culture year of 2008. The difference here is that a much greater area of the city of Liverpool is catered for, the story and journey beginning in North Liverpool, hardly an area with a surfeit of arts events on its doorstep.

That is not to criticize La Princesse; having experienced it first hand, we’d urge people to heed the words of Ferris and get out to see the giants while they can – there is ample opportunity (full programme) – as they traverse the city over the course of the weekend.

Sea Odyssey – Giant Spectacular is free and takes place 20 – 22 April

Posted on 11/04/2012 by thedoublenegative