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Confirmed: There will be giants

All eyes on Liverpool for World War I centenary as Nantes puppets return

Published on January 7th 2014.

Confirmed: There will be giants

ALL eyes will be on Liverpool this summer as the UK marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

Today it is announced that the city has been chosen to host the UK’s biggest cultural event to commemorate the centenery. And as first revealed on Liverpool Confidential last year there will be giants.

Minister for Sport and Tourism Helen Grant confirms the city will stage Memories of August 1914. It will be brought to Liverpool by Nantes street theatre tour de force Royal De Luxe, who captivated crowds of 800,000 people in 2012 with the Giant spectacular Sea Odyssey which commemorated another centenary - that of the sinking of the Titanic.  It is estimated by the council that that outing generated £32m for the local economy.

This time, Mayor Joe Anderson estimates 2m people will turn out for the return of two familiar faces – the Little Girl Giant and her playful leg-cocking canine companion, Xolo.  

The event is commissioned jointly by Liverpool City Council and 14-18 NOW, the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme.

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, with further surprises, 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.

Memories Of Liverpool 1914Memories Of Liverpool 1914

Helen Grant said: “2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of a war which transformed not only this country, but the world forever.

“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.

“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 have been some criticisms about using street theatre to mark the start of the Great War.

But Mayor Anderson defended the decision. He said: “The Titanic event, using the giants, was most tasteful and respectful and won worldwide approval. The story was so moving people were driven to tears.  I made it clear at the very start that in using this same format we again had to respect the issue being commemorated.

“We feel it is important the younger generations are told the story of World War One and the great sacrifices made by those who gave their lives.”

Mayor Anderson said the event could attract up to 2m  visitors to Liverpool over the five days.

He added: “For Liverpool to host one of the biggest WW1 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.

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

Jean Luc Courcoult - A Man Who Knows How To Have A Good TimeJean Luc Courcoult - A Man Who Knows How To Have A Good Time

Founder and Artistic Director of Royal De Luxe, Jean Luc Courcoult, said: “We are excited to return to Liverpool once again – last time we were given such a warm welcome by the people of Liverpool 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 One story which will hopefully touch all who witness it.”

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.

Updated 13.35 Jan 7.

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68 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

Fantastic news

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.

Some brown envelopes have been passed then? sorry to be a cynic but I fail to see how the expense of these puppets justifies itself. The money spent on them would be better going to a permanent attraction or an improvement to city.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Speculate to accumulateJanuary 7th 2014.

The money is largely coming from the World War I centenary office in central government, so exactly what brown envelopes are you implying? The expense of the Nantes puppets is far outweighed by the £32 million they brought into the local economy last time. Nobody minds a conspiracy theorist but this is just rubbish

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.

I'm not so much a conspiracy theorist as a realist chum, where'd you get that figure from exactly? and one day of good fortune really justifies nothing compared to a long term investment.

Speculum to AccumulateJanuary 7th 2014.

Like Peel's you mean? I'd rather have the puppets any day.

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.

Puppets appease puppets I guess.

Troy TempestJanuary 8th 2014.

The puppets have fewer strings attached than Peel's investment.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

Is that you Bradley?

SaladDazeJanuary 7th 2014.

What does Mr Gove think of this? Surely these giants are fellow travellers? Will they be led by donkeys?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Tommy AtkinsJanuary 7th 2014.

Gove thinks he's General Haig.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

I love how someone makes up a figure like £32 million and everyone goes "oh it must be true" when we have no real way of knowing. Why celebrate the start of the first World War? The end of it, I can just about see. Will the puppets be of young men being slaughtered in the name of dubious politics, I doubt it?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

not celebrate -comemerate.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

Will any of the "£32 Million" be going to the Poppy fund?

Lord NoseJanuary 11th 2014.

Can you remember the days before dyslexia when people were "thick", nothing ever changes does it.

Lord KnoseJanuary 11th 2014.

You don't spell nose like that you prat, it's got a "K"

David LewisJanuary 7th 2014.

Two things grabbed my attention. '... there will be a focus on recruitment ...' and '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.' WW1 celebrations with modern political overtones, then. I thought the Giants were great street theatre but the Titanic references seemed half-hearted, tacked on and irrelevant. Why bother? Wasn't it magical enough to see the figures on the city's streets, and the faint themes of journey and family? Likewise, is a puppet show the right way to celebrate a war that claimed 15 million lives - a war which most people regard as unnecessary?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.


AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

I watched in amazement Sea Odyssey. It really was the greatest spectacle I had ever seen. You couldn't even give it 10/10 - that would have been a great underscore. The story and the way it was organised and told was most respectful to the tragedy of the Titanic. I am sure the WWI event will respect the great loss of life. At a time when people are struggling financially the ability to watch, free of charge, on our own doorsteps a world event, will be incredible. I say go for it Mr Mayor, let Liverpool show the world what it is made of.

ChopperJanuary 7th 2014.

Good news, and it doesn't clash with the Tour de France which starts just over the Pennines in Yorkshire in July. Such a pity the city didn't bid for a stage to be held in Liverpool, that would get lots of international attention. Many people who aren't particularly interested in cycle racing watch it for the scenery.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

World War 1, Imperial industrial slaughter on an unimaginable scale and the stage set for the conditions which would give rise to the horrors of the 30s and 40s. There was a time this would have been marked with a solemnity and gravity that such an occasion used to demand. Nah, fuck that, let's get the puppets out again. They're a magnificent money spinner. I have a nagging feeling that some things are just too big, too horrible and far too cataclysmic to be marked with puppets, pavement drinking and held aloft cam phones. The previous poster was only concerned with not clashing with a bicycle race, for heaven's sake.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Colonel BlimpJanuary 7th 2014.

Ah, but those men weren't conscripted, they joined up gladly because they believed all the Government and right-wing propaganda, just like they do today! Lessons that we forget have to be re-learnt, so it's best we keep them in our memory. Having an iPhone doesn't make you wise, it makes you gullible.

Phylis SteinJanuary 11th 2014.

Precisely Anon

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.

Jean Luc Courcoult looks like a right fucking herbert.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

But a rich fucking Herbert, selling his shite to the gullible.

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 7th 2014.

Still what excuse for that ensemble is there? None.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

I know. The makers of Spiderman want their villain back,

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

Why are we still giving money to the French? They did next to nothing in both world wars, but are still doing rather well out of it. Invest the money in home grown talent.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

Google 'Verdun' then get back to me.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

Google "Somme" then get back to me

Pierre HeadJanuary 15th 2014.

The French are admirable. They have a self-respect that Britain used to have before our country chucked it all in to try and become a tenth-rate United States. We drive French cars, our houses run on French electricity and the French will be building the Tories’ new generation of nuclear power stations. Why? Because all our facilities for doing such things for ourselves were closed down and/or sold off to a lot of foreigners for short-term profit by a succession of right-wing governments, Labour and Conservative. It is as if the public school and Oxbridge educations of our politicians somehow missed out on the story of the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs.

Tommy AtkinsJanuary 15th 2014.

Remember the trouble over London’s County Hall? When the Greater London Council was closed down by a certain government, the County Hall itself was sold off to a Japanese hotel chain. Veterans from both world wars were then prevented from continuing their annual remembrance ceremonies at the war memorial to GLC staff who had fallen in both wars. This same political party is the very one that wraps itself in the Union Jack at election times.

mallardJanuary 15th 2014.

France has had the TGV for over thirty years already. The most optimistic estimates are that Britain with have the inferior HS2 only as far as Manchester fifty years later. To think it was Britain that invented invented railways. High the mighty have fallen.

Amos NonymousJanuary 15th 2014.

So good they invented it twice, have you been at the duck soup again JB.

mickeydrippin'January 17th 2014.

Well said Pierre. The French have always supported their domestic-owned companies, which have been more successful in the global market place than many comparible British businesses. For that you have to admire them.

Pierre HeadJanuary 19th 2014.

France is also the richest coutry in Europe, something the right-wing, anti-European British press never mentions. It has bigger more powerfu armed forces that we have and a far bigger nuclear arsenal which is entirely their own unlike ours where we have to get the yanks' permission to use them. The French have a much higher quality of life than we have.

Phylis SteinJanuary 11th 2014.

I've waited for some time for the debate on this news, but here it was buried under culture. I've read with avid interest the views expressed, I must of been in a minority of one to have missed the former spectacle, I wasn't too bothered, I thought it was a somewhat tenuous link to the "Titanic", which brings me to the point. I cannot see how in heavens name anyone can place marionettes in the same sentence as World War 1. It defies belief, we have a Mayor who sees himself as the jovial ringmaster in what is fast becoming "The Billy Not So Smart Circus". I'm sure he wont be happy until this fine city is the laughing stock of the nation.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 12th 2014.

Exactly, I wrote this earlier, but no one seems to have paid it much heed " Why celebrate the start of the first World War? The end of it, I can just about see. Will the puppets be of young men being slaughtered in the name of dubious politics, I doubt it?" I would like to add that when this goes ahead it will be £6 million that will have been wasted on puppets. Think of all the good that money could have done.

Jono JonesJanuary 15th 2014.

why not spend the puppet money on supporting local artists to produce something for the event . It was interesting and a new concept when they took the puppets to London , but Liverpool Council had to copy something that had already been done . The council has such a sheep mentality , cant they come up with anything original . Scallies

9 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 15th 2014.

Most of the local artists are scallies, and pretentious scallies.

Vanny Vin Go CartJanuary 15th 2014.

Moi, un Wallyscag.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2014.

It was great and is great that Nantes comes up with this stuff. But Clare McCogloose has no imagination if she and her ilk think bringing this back is. "Culture". It's not, it's been done.

John BradleyJanuary 15th 2014.

That suggests you do not know what culture is.

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 19th 2014.

"Most local artists are scallies"...that proves you don't know any local artists, bellend.

Ramsey CampbellJanuary 20th 2014.

I did ask Mr Bradley to name the artists he had in mind.

John BradleyJanuary 20th 2014.

When did you ask. There are a lot of people going around Liverpool claiming to be artists, like the ones claiming to be musicians etc etc.

Ramsey CampbellJanuary 20th 2014.

Blame my lack of clarity. The posting immediately below, from last Wednesday at 8:18 AM ("Do name the people you're insulting") was meant as a response to your "Most of the local artists are scallies, and pretentious scallies" but didn't show up as a direct reply.

John BradleyJanuary 20th 2014.

There are a few talented one's who have had exhibitions and sold some work. The height of whose talent will get them a place at MOBA (www.museumofbadart.org/…/…) or will accosted people and ask to wrap them in toilet roll during an "installation" during the Bold Street festival. Then there is Stuckists and the people the Stuckists hate, both groups lack imagination and neither know it one covers it up by complete denial the other by taking a picture of their latest turd and claiming it is a criticism of the inherent sexism in post modern Britain, and it is your failing if the message doesn't get across to you it is because you are ignorant. The second group are surrounded by a fluttering array of those who see themselves as culture vultures but are more like shit hawks wandering round a rubbish tip, eating turds. Chief among the fawning prats would be Brenda Ball.

Ramsey CampbellJanuary 15th 2014.

Do name the people you're insulting.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2014.

You truly are the most dreary, broken, unfulfilled, joyless fuckers alive. Is there anything at all in your sad little lives that lifts you apart from sneering negativity?

12 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 15th 2014.

Yup feeling superior to you.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2014.

I think he was agreeing you John

Vanny Vin Go CartJanuary 16th 2014.

I used to write poison pen letters, but the pen ran out of ink, then I tried ironing tenners, but guess what ......the iron broke......I had to buy a new one....Now I've got nothing to iron......These days I just lie in wait for JB.....or even Anonymous....There's one along every few minutes, they're as regular as an 86 bus....The difficulty is being your own straight man.....Then along comes Anon....Sometimes you have to lay some ground bait with words like mayor or train, then sure enough......They start biting again.........I'll be glad when the telly's fixed .......I miss Cross Roads

Seamus and his Imaginary Friend AmosJanuary 16th 2014.

You have hit the nail on the head, however, your language leaves much to be desired. You should well know how difficult it is to play Monopoly or Scrabble on one's own. Decorum is called for, so be adult about it, go and play by yourself in the corner

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 17th 2014.

Christ someone Bradley feels superior too...I guess there had to be one.

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 17th 2014.

Along with every other person he's ever seen that wasn't himself of course

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2014.

He towers above you, after all, we can all see how he's got right under your skin, psyched you out and left you thoroughly rattled? You can't let it go mate, loosen up and try a hobby!

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 18th 2014.

Given up on the false identities then John?

John BradleyJanuary 18th 2014.

Never started on them.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2014.

You never stopped you mean. Every time you're losing an argument so mysterious person turns up and deflects attention away from your idiocy

John BradleyJanuary 18th 2014.

That sounds more like your relationship with Jb2.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2014.


AnonymousJanuary 16th 2014.

You last two cuntributors are doing remarkably well for guys who speak English as a second language, well done

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SeamusJanuary 16th 2014.

Que pasa amigo , no entiendo la lengua. Sprechen sie deutch, parliamo italiano. what's the score pal. Pogue mahon, capiche

ScouserJanuary 17th 2014.

Мы собираемся выиграть Кубок

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2014.

Deutsch, not Deutch Molto noiso

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Robbie FlowerJanuary 19th 2014.

I'm not surprised he has no "S", it's the same feller who dropped his "H" in the dunny, if I recall correctly the last time we heard from him, he was in need of a "P". I think he's in need of a new of a new laptop I think he said his name was Big Sam.

Robbie FlowerJanuary 19th 2014.

I think my laptop has developed the same the same problem.

Amos NonymousJanuary 19th 2014.

I had a laptop that used to stutter.

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