Moby Dick on the Mersey weekend

8 May 2013 by Sam

students in costume, crowded into a small boat

Students performing the Chester Noah play

Jo Connor, education manager at Merseyside Maritime Museum, reflects on a busy Bank Holiday weekend packed full of events:

“Call me Ishmael…” Must be one of, if not the most famous opening line to a novel perhaps next to “It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

And so started the weekend of Moby Dick on the Mersey marathon readings at 9am on Saturday, each day beginning on board the wonderful Kathleen and May schooner moored outside the Merseyside Maritime Museum, then moving inside the museum from 10am. BBC Northwest arrived and stayed most of the morning to interview readers and film excerpts for their evening slot.

Highlights of our accompanying events included wonderful performances by students from the University of Liverpool of the Chester Noah play. Performances took place in the open air on a very windy grassy knoll next to the Piermaster’s House. The dialogue retained its medieval English language roots, but even so was accessible and very funny. And as with the performances at the time, certain aspects were contemporised, hence the chart songs by Mr and Mrs Noah and the cast.

On Sunday local children’s author Jon Mayhew enraptured a young audience enticed outside by the sunny weather, with his stories of ‘Terror on the high seas’ on the decks of the Kathleen and May. Meanwhile inside the museum families were making their own model whales to take home.

A thank you of Moby Dick proportions to all the staff from the University of Liverpool who made it a thoroughly fun and well organised adventure, and to everyone who took part in the readings or offered their services to the weekend.

If you missed the weekend’s events there’s still time to catch the last of our Moby Dick themed Wednesday lunchtime lectures, which continue for a few weeks.

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