Giant snores reverberated around Kings Dock before two huge marionettes were brought to life by the Lilliputian crew of Royal de Luxe, a French street theatre company here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.
Dated 13th April 1912, a letter by 10 year old May McMurray from Liverpool was written to her father, William, on the ill-fated cruise liner. A century after it was posted it became the inspiration for the UK’s largest street theatre event.
May’s letter, now in Liverpool’s Maritime Museum, reads:
“Dear Father, It seems ages since I last seen you. I wish we where in Southampton with you, it is very lonely without you.”
William would never see the letter; it reached White Star’s offices after the Titanic had embarked, and was returned to sender. He died when the ship sank, despite having had the opportunity to board a lifeboat.
Alan McMurray, William’s grandson, said:
“An officer sent him back to look for water and biscuits and he never returned. They couldn’t wait any longer and the officer said to a gentleman standing alongside the lifeboat ‘You get in’. The lifeboat was picked up by the Carpathia and they all ended up in Newfoundland where the gentleman who got in the lifeboat in place of my grandfather asked about him. He eventually came back from New York to Liverpool and went straight to the White Star office. He checked on William’s details and found out his address and went there. He met my grandmother and told her the tale of what had happened on board the ship.”
May’s letter ends with a goodbye message from William’s three children;
“Love from all dada hoping to see you soon with love from Ivy and May and Ernie xxxxxxxxxx kisses for dada x”
Faces pressed against the windows of tall buildings came eye-to-eye with giants as the Uncle and ‘Little Girl’ took to the streets. Sea Odyssey tells the story of a young girl whose father, a 30 foot giant, stowed away on the Titanic and died when it sank. His brother, the second giant puppet, took a century to learn to dive and having found the wreck of the Titanic returned to Liverpool to meet his niece and distribute letters from the ship around the city.
Discover videos of this wonderful event on YouTube:
- Read about the Giants’ return to Liverpool to commemorate WW1: Memories of August 1914
- And see photos from their last ever appearance: Liverpool’s Dream