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Arts Post
Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 04/23/2012

Giant marionettes in Liverpool, England, commemorate Titanic sinking (photos, video)

It was the biggest ship of its time — and this weekend, some of the biggest puppets in the world paid tribute to the Titanic. Marionettes as large as 50 feet tromped through the streets of Liverpool, England, in “Sea Odyssey,” a weekend-long performance that acted out the story of a girl trying to learn what happened to her father, a stowaway on the Titanic, part of the month-long commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking April 15.


A giant puppet, part of a street theater production titled Sea Odyssey, is lifted from a boat outside St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, England. (Andrew Yates - AFP/Getty Images)

The story was inspired by a real-life letter written by a 10-year-old girl to her father, who died on the ship. The girl walked around Liverpool in search of news about her father, accompanied by her dog, Xolo, and a giant man, who is her uncle.

The puppet show was produced by Royal De Luxe, a French street theater company who has toured the world with their massive marionettes. The puppets, which are made of wood and steel, are operated by cranes and require 110 puppeteers who, according to the BBC, refer to themselves as Lilliputians, after the tiny people in “Gulliver’s Travels.” The girl puppet is 30 feet tall, and the male puppet is 50 feet tall, and together, they walked nearly 23 miles through the city. For the finale of the production, the male puppet jumped the city’s 44-foot-tall Chinatown arch, before both puppets departed in a boat on the River Mersey.

See the puppets in motion:


In the finale of the Sea Odyssey, the giant deep sea diver, the giant little girl and her dog, Xolo, sail along the River Mersey through pyrotechnic smoke. (Christopher Furlong - Getty Images)


People look out of their windows to watch a giant deep sea diver puppet. (Paul Ellis - AFP/Getty Images)


A giant puppet is lifted from a boat with a crane outside Liverpool Football Club's Anfield Stadium. (Paul Ellis - AFP/Getty Images)


A giant puppet walks through Stanley Park in Liverpool. (Andrew Yates - AFP/Getty Images)

The little girl marionette — which, at 30 feet tall, is a bit of a misnomer — makes its way through the streets of Liverpool. (Christopher Furlong - Getty Images)

A little girl pats the giant pet dog of the giant little girl as it makes its way through the streets of Liverpool. (Christopher Furlong - Getty Images)

By  |  11:12 AM ET, 04/23/2012

Tags:  theater

 
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