Liverpool ’08 European Capital of Culture opening show

Date: 1 January 2008 to 1 January 2008

Location: Liverpool

Client: The Liverpool Culture Company

To mark the opening of the Liverpool '08 European Capital of Culture we worked with writer and director Mark Murphy to create a truly unforgettable spectacle for the people of Liverpool that celebrated the city's diverse cultural heritage and paved the way for a year of cultural events in this great city.

Epic in scale and set against the dramatic backdrop of Liverpool's landmark St George's Hall, our opening ceremony featured a precious cargo containing Beatle Ringo Starr who performed on the the 100 ft high roof of this iconic building.

Other performers included Dave Stewart, the Wombats and over 600 local people including guitarists, choirs and schoolchildren.  Designed to reflect the unique culture of Liverpool and its people, the opening ceremony drew on an array of cultural points of reference, while using video mapping on to the city's buildings and stunning pyrotechnics to create a shared collective moment of spectacle.

The show included aerialists dangling from cranes to reflect the city's the mass of building work that has transformed the city while other cranes carrying shipping containers highlighted the city's global status as a major port.

Delivered with style, creative pizzazz and just enough self deprecatory wit. Aerialists scaled the side of a huge video screen slung on the side of St. George’s Hall manipulating the video images like the touch-screen on an i-Pod. Two hundred local children processed at both shows proudly carrying their own “cultural cargo” in illuminated boxes. Simple, symbolic and evocative

Bill Morris, Culture and Events Chief for the 2012 London Olympics

Written and directed by Mark Murphy
Executive Director: Nigel Jamison
Production Designer: Dan Potra
Composer: Patrick Dineen
Lighting Designer: Stephen Page
Aerial Design: Vicky Amedume & James Doyle-Roberts
Show Caller: Laura Edwards

Produced by The Liverpool Culture Company & John Wassell / Walk The Plank

See also the Liverpool Transition closing ceremony to explore how we helped the people of Liverpool mark the end of the big year.

Project Specification
Project Scale
Creative Content
Projection/video mapping
Site responsive performance