Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Sea Odyssey & Titanic - Slow Giants & Fast Ships

There have been and will be many events around Titanic this year, from the good, Sea Odyssey, the bad, ITV's appallingly written four-parter, and the ugly, The Adelphi's questionable building of a replica of the Titanic bow in their lobby with the offer of 'Kate and Leo' posed photo opportunities.

This weekend there will be a stunning spectacular in Liverpool, delivered by Nantes based street-theatre company who bring their giant marionettes to Liverpool for Sea Odyssey, a three day festival of hope and resurgance in commemoration of the centenary of the sinking of The Titanic and the loss of over 1500 lives.

The Sea Odyssey story is based on an unopened letter from a young girl in Kensington to her father, who never read the letter and never returned. The Spider in Liverpool in 2008 was pretty amazing, but Sea Odyssey, in my opinion, will rival The Olympics for spectacle as The Giant Girl's Uncle returns from the sea bringing the letters from Titanic that were never delivered.

Writing on the Wall participated in the letter-writing campaign, organisang workshops in Croxteth, Liverpool 8 and the City Centre. We were amazed by the amount of interest in the workshops, and how the issue encouraged people to become involved in creative writing. Some of those people, who had never written before, have gone on to enter our Flash Fiction 'At the End of the World' competition and to volunteer for Sea Odyssey and the Writing on the Wall Festival in May.

One aspect of this that some seem to have forgotten, is that this was a major tragedy, brought on by a number of issues/mistakes, etc. but compounded by the arrogance of wealth, a disregard for health and safety, and the desire for speed at all costs.

Writing on the Wall, with the Festival theme of 'Below Decks', is holding two events to explore the legacy of Titanic and its contemporary relevance.

On Tuesday 9th May Tony Wailey and Ian Morris discuss the arcane shipping laws, control, deference and voices of dissent aboard ocean going liners in '77 RPM – The Titanic, the Clock and the Dock'7.30pm, The Casa, Hope Street.

On Friday 25th May at The Mersey Maritime Museum WoW presents'Titanic on Trial', a discussion with Frances Wilson, author of How To Survive the Titanic or the Sinking of Bruce Ismay (2011) and winner of the Rose Mary Crawshaw prize in 2009; Nic Compton, author of Titanic on Trial, former editor of Classic Boat magazine, photographer and author of several books on nautical subjects; Alan Scarth, former curator of the Titanic exhibition at the Maritime Museum and author of Titanic and Liverpool; and Steve Turner, author of The Band that Played On (2011). There will also be Ragtime music of the time played by the fabulous Liverpool-based, Corelli Quartet.

For anyone interested in the Titanic these two events, along with Sea Odyssey, really are unmissable.
You can find all details at

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