Titanic street puppets pull crowds
Liverpool has became a land of the giants as huge puppets took centre stage in one of the UK's biggest-ever street theatre performances.
An estimated 250,000 people are expected to turn out in the city to watch Sea Odyssey, an epic £1.5 million production by French marionette experts Royal De Luxe.
The three-day event tells the story of a 30-ft Little Girl Giant searching for her father, a missing crewman on the sunken Titanic.
Since Friday the giant puppet has been travelling around Liverpool with her 20-ft dog Xolo, watched by tens of thousands of people. Meanwhile, other areas of the city have been visited by her 50-ft uncle who has vowed to scour the ocean for the shipwreck and lay his brother to rest.
The three puppets will come together in the city centre on Sunday for what officials promise to be a "spectacular" finale.
Sea Odyssey is part of Liverpool's commemorations for the recent 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The liner was registered in Liverpool, making the city its home port.
It was inspired by a real letter, currently on display at Merseyside Maritime Museum, from Liverpool schoolgirl May McMurray to her father who was a steward on the White Star Line ship.
Sea Odyssey is also the final event to use European legacy funding from the Liverpool capital of culture year in 2008. Around £300,000 has been met by the fund, with the rest of the cost met by sponsorship.
Officials say the production is the most complex event the city has staged and involves hundreds of people in the planning and execution. Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, said: "It's the chance for people to come out with their family and friends and see a spectacular piece of street theatre, the likes of which many will never have seen before."
Around 9.6 million people have watched Royal De Luxe performances across the world.