Giant street theatre returns to Liverpool for First World War Centenary

Posted on on 07 January 2014
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The British Government has announced that Liverpool is to host one of the UK's largest cultural events commemorating the Centenary of the First World War.

Memories of August 1914 will feature the giant marionettes of the French street theatre group, Royal De Luxe. They will explore the city as part of what's described as a "moving and emotional" story recollecting a time when Britain was preparing for war.

The show, which will run from 23rd-27th July 2014, has been jointly commissioned by Liverpool City Council and 14-18 NOW, the body producing the UK's Centenary cultural programme.

The Minister for Tourism and Sport, Helen Grant, said: “This is sure to be a truly powerful and memorable piece of street theatre which will shine a spotlight on an incredibly important period in our history.” 

"There will be events taking place across the country throughout the four years of the anniversary, but Liverpool will without a doubt be home to one of the largest cultural commemorations."

The huge puppets will be making their second visit to Liverpool. In 2012, they attracted crowds of up to 800,000 people with a show called Sea Odyssey, marking the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: "For Liverpool to host one of the biggest WW1 commemorative events in 2014 is a huge honour in itself.  But to once again be working in partnership with Royal De Luxe, makes this extra special.

“We have been in talks with them for some time about returning to Liverpool – but we always knew the story had to be right."

Royal De Luxe's founder and Artistic Director, Jean Luc Courcoult, said: “Liverpool’s streets are the perfect stage for a show of this kind and we look forward to returning and sharing our World War One story which will hopefully touch all who witness it.”

Full details of the programme will be announced later.

Source: Liverpool City Council

Date of press release publication: 7th January 2014

Images courtesy of Liverpool City Council

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News