Giants return for WWI centenary

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The Little Girl Giant will make her return to the city. © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

The giants will make their return to the city © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

The Royal de Luxe giants are set to return to Liverpool this summer, with the official announcement taking place at Liverpool Town Hall today.

The huge street theatre puppets will parade around the city in July as part of the UK’s flagship event, Memories of August 1914, to commemorate the centenary of World War I.

The event, co-commissioned by Culture Liverpool and 14-18 NOW, will come to the city courtesy of French street theatre specialists, Royal de Luxe, the company which brought Liverpool to a standstill when thousands saw the spectacular Sea Odyssey in 2012.

Jean Luc Courcoult, writer-director of the Nantes-based Royal de Luxe, said: “We’re excited to return to Liverpool once again. Last time we were given such a warm welcome that all of us felt like we were part of the city’s family. Liverpool’s streets are the perfect stage for a show of this kind and we look forward to returning and sharing our World War I story which will hopefully touch all who witness it.”

A particular highlight of Memories of August 1914 is sure to be the return of two familiar faces in the Little Girl Giant and her canine companion Xolo, who were both star attractions at the Titanic centenary commemoration, Sea Odyssey, two years ago.

Sea Odyssey was a huge hit in 2012 © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

Sea Odyssey was a huge hit in 2012 © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey

This morning’s launch in the Hall of Remembrance began with the Last Post before a minute’s silence in honour of those who died in the Great War.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson announced that Liverpool will play host to the giants from 23-27 July, 2014. He said that he believes it will be one of the biggest events ever held in the city and looks forward to the spotlight being on Liverpool as the entire country comes together to pay respects to those who died in the war.

He said: “For Liverpool to host the biggest WWI commemorative event in 2014 is a huge honour in itself. But to once again be working in partnership with Royal De Luxe makes this extra special. I know Royal De Luxe will make Liverpool, along with the whole of the UK, proud with the outdoor magic they create which is guaranteed to be awe-inspiring.”

About Jack Birch, JMU Journalism