So under beautiful clear blue skies it finally happened (15th May 2016 to be totally precise). Liverpool’s iconic Hope Street which as a destination has so excited me since I first arrived some 14 months ago was transformed into a stage filled with a cast of over 300 including street performers, a multitude of singers, choirs, clergy, dancers, artists and musicians all uniting to celebrate Liverpool’s Pentecost Pageant. Which is only right and proper for a street that boasts two Cathedrals, three Universities, three major arts organisations and a whole host of creative and independent businesses.
Its so hard to estimate but over at Unity Towers we finally settled on a figure of 5000 people attending the event, filling the Metropolitan Cathedral’s piazza during the final moments.
— Liverpool Cathedral (@LivCathedral) May 15, 2016
Before hand, carefully curated by maestro’s Graham Hicks and Austin Hewitt, Hope Street had been brought into dazzling life by many of Liverpool’s artistic community including the very best of Liverpool’s street theatre community. Liverpool Lantern Company’s Sun Puppet danced with Artemis’ Farenheit; Foolproof Theatre’s Flock gave hundreds (including the Dean of Liverpool Cathedral) a ride on their Harley Davidson’s (with a difference), whilst Teatro Pomodoro invited audiences to a rather strange party. Two very lost American Tourists were spotted asking for directions from the Songs of Praise TV crew, it’s just a shame they didn’t come across the Guardian Angels who surely would have shown them the way! Liverpool’s iconic Beatles even made an appearance, courtesy of In Another Place.
(all photos Ant Clausen, except Matria Motherland courtesy of band)
— unitytheatre (@unitytheatre) May 16, 2016
Crowds were treated to stage performances from Perri Alleyne-Hughes and Neil Campbell, The Salvation Army Band, Hope Street Harmonies, Abigail Birch, Sefton Youth Jazz Orchestra, Impropriety, La Bomba, Matria Motherland, Petite Ullaloom, Beatlife, Marco Rico and What We Did Next.
Then at 3pm the traditional two Cathedral’s service began at the Liverpool Cathedral. For Graham, Austin and I that moment of calm and reflection simply cued a period of frantic activity….’where’s the Samba band’ (round the corner was the radio reply!), ‘have Merseyside Welsh Choral finished’ (after some very early morning schennigans the stages were running late) and ‘is the scissor lift up’. I found myself running the length and breadth of the street which did my pedometer no end of good!
(Photo: Ant Clausen (YEP), and MDI courtesy of MDI)
At around 3.20pm from within the Well of the Cathedral the Wirral Samba Band struck up, heralding the start of the walk: their sound resonating all round Giles Gilbert Scott’s immense building. Breaking out from the Great West Door the procession made an impressive sight. Along the full length of Hope Street the procession passed through moments created specially for the event by – amongst others – Liverpool Lantern Company, Young Everyman Playhouse, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Danielle Thomas, Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre and Merseyside Welsh Choral.
(all photos: Ant Clausen)
At the steps of the Cathedral the mood changed again – as the crowd gathered on the Metropolitan Cathedral steps for a short service, including the Hallelujah Chorus! Before impromptu dancing broke out! It really was a day of sunshine and smiles!!
(all photos Ant Clausen)
Huge thanks are due to everyone involved in making the Pageant happen – all our artists, the fantastic events team from Liverpool City Council, the two Cathedrals and Churches Together on Merseyside, the Hope Street CIC and all the businesses who took part. As was said several times on the day we really were #bettertogether!
More Pentecost Blogs
Pentecost Pageant – 2 days to go! , Pentecost Pageant – four days to go , Pentecost Pageant – 5 days to go , Pentecost Pageant – 6 days to go , Pentecost Pageant – A Celebration of Hope -the line ups , Dreams,pageants and the rest