Thousands of people gathered at Liverpool’s Stanley Park and Albert Docks as the unique Sea Odyssey parade began in the city to commemorate the centenary of the Titanic’s sinking.
The spectacle, prepared by French company Royal de Luxe, involves two enormous mechanical giants, of the 30ft Little Girl and her 50ft Uncle, roaming the streets to find each other, in a story which French creator Jean-Luc Courcoult was inspired to write after visiting Liverpool’s Maritime Museum.
The tale follows the Little Girl and her dog, Xolo, around the city as she attempts to find a connection with the Titanic, which her father was on board. Her journey began at 9.30am on Friday in Stanley Park.
From a crouched position in the centre of Stanley Park, backed by a live band, the Little Girl and her dog rose to walk through the park and onto the road towards Anfield. When in the road, the Litle Girl Giant was hoisted two-storeys high onto the back of a boat, which was then driven through the crowded streets as her mechanical dog bounded ahead.
Meanwhile, her Giant Diver uncle, who as the
story goes has been roaming the sea for 100
years to deliver a letter from the little girl's father
to his daughter, rose from the River Mersey near
the Albert Dock at 2pm.
The giants are controlled by two purpose-built
mechanical cranes, and their limbs are moved
by dozens of people using a system of ropes
They will roam a 23-mile path around
the city, which is due to finish on Sunday
when they finally reunite with each other.
The spectacle is set to be one of the largest
street theatre events of the year, not only with the
size of the giants, but with the amount of people
set to view the parade over the course of its three
days predicted to be around 250,000.
Many of the city’s roads have been closed to allow
for the parade route and the expected spectators.
Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: “This will be a magical piece of theatre, the likes of which many people will never have seen before.
“To work with such a world renowned company as Royal De Luxe is a real coup for Liverpool and it’s wonderful we can mark this important anniversary with an unforgettable event.
“The Titanic will always resonate with Liverpool, particularly as the name of the city was emblazoned on its stern and many of its crew were from the Merseyside area.
"The tragic sinking of the ship affected people across the globe, and it’s fitting that the city where the ship was registered is remembering the vessel in such a special way.”
By Adam Nash, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life
The Giant Diver made his way into town as the girl giant tried to find him Pics © Mark McNulty/Sea Odyssey
Video: Giant girl and dog leave Stanley Park