Treasured. A Night To Remember?
Few theatrical experiences are bold enough to use Liverpool Cathedral's cavernous interior as their stage. Treasured, with its Titanic ambitions, is one. But will it sink or swim, wonders David Lloyd?
As the days darken and the mercury plummets, the city starts to stir from its summer slumbers. There’s so much good stuff coming over the horizon it makes us yearn for a great Liverpool listings website. Not us, we really haven’t got the time.
One event we’re happy to flag up is Treasured, a tantalisingly hard-to-pin-down event at that new, increasingly essential venue, Liverpool Cathedral. Big sandstone building. You might have spotted it, next to the Rialto newsagents?
Billed as a ‘theatrical event of Titanic proportions’ (careful with that oversell, lads) Treasured promises a large scale multimedia experience suited, we imagine, to the vast canvas of Britain’s biggest place of worship.
Ignited by artistic director of Cut to the Chase, Jen Heyes (with the Aspire Trust) and written and composed by Ailís Ní Ríain, Treasured – if it lives up to its promise – is set to be one of the events of the season.
“I wanted to create an epic, large scale collaborative work to mark the centenary of the Titanic tragedy,” Heyes says of the piece that rivets one of the most powerful tragedies of the last 100 years to super-sized projections, soundscapes and aerial theatre. Live musicians including the RLPO’s Brendan Ball, a large scale film by Illuminos and mid air choreography by Wired Aerial Theatre – who brought the highly acclaimed As The World Tipped to the cathedral in 2011 promise an audio-visual sensory smorgasbord. It all sounds incredibly big. But while it might paint on a huge canvas, the piece is concerned more with the macro and the minutiae that connects us all.
“While I was thinking about how this might work, it occurred to me that when someone passes away, they leave behind memories and artefacts that we treasure, which serve as our connection between the past and the present and so the name Treasured and the broader concept for the event was born,” Heyes explains.
At its heart, Heyes explains, Treasured is about people – the journey of their lives, the building and shattering of dreams, and of how ‘any one of us can become caught up in a tragic event in a heartbeat’.
The Cathedral is, as anyone who witnessed the astonishing One Step Forward, One Step Back during the Capital of Culture year, one of the city’s most engaging and indelible theatrical spaces in the city. Given the right ingredients, venue and event can combine to create something, well, something verging on transcendental (as many who witnessed A Crimson Grail last week can testify). It’s enough to make Richard Dawkins scribble out some hasty rewrites.
“Treasured isn’t a straightforward piece of theatre narrative in the traditional sense, rather a journey that leads our audience through sights, sounds, facts, images, places and people who all had their particular part to play in the Titanic story,” Heyes explains.
“The Cathedral is the perfect space for Treasured as it’s as intimate as it is awesome and I wanted to speak to audiences on both levels. The space is a great mirror for the scope and scale of the ship – inside the Nave one can appreciate the vastness of both the Titanic and the ocean on the bottom of which it still lies…”
We’re impressed by Treasured’s scope and ambition. And we’re praying for its safe passage.
1st – 6th October
Evenings – Doors 7pm, Journey 7.30pm, Performance 8pm
Schools Matinees – Doors 12.15pm, Journey 12.45pm, Performance 1.15pm
Tickets: £15 (Concessions £10); Schools:£5 (teacher free with every 10 students)
Book by Phone: 0151 709 4776
Email Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org