Land of Giants
A huge success – 18,000 people turn out to see amazing Land of Giants show in Belfast.
Sunday Life
It really was amazing
Event Magazine
I am glad to have been a part of it, more grateful for the fantastic people I have met because of it. Thank you
Audience Member
Land of Giants made history
Culture NI
beautiful, provocative, emotional, artistic, soulful, & then some
Caral Ni Chuillin, Culture Minister
It was spectacular, thrilling, brave and dramatic … quite simply I want to see it all over again.
Belfast Times was [the] precision and attention to detail that made Land of Giants a truly spectacular show.
My experience at Land of Giants was brilliant I've met a lot of like minded people and I've made some good friends
Audience Member

Photo Gallery

Poem A

In the beginning, a shining white letter

hurtling out of the dust and the ether

through stratosphere, atmosphere, layers of weather-

a comet, a meteorite, spark from a star,

seed-coat, ovum, germ head, spore

from where the spooling darks of deep space are-

the sea’s blue huge, the sky’s blue sliding

away on a curve and the hard earth rising

at double the rate of the speed of the falling-

it tucks in its wings, douses its fire, to land-like a coin-on the palm of her hand-

get buried, like treasure, deep in the ground-

blackness below sunlight above-

to flourish on   Warmth   Water   LOVE

Poem B

Deep in the ground, bewitched by her wishing,

the letter's unsettled, cracks open its casing

and breaks into two, into four, into blooming

unmapped and unwitnessed, expanding, expanding...

The cell in the dark womb splits.

Finger by finger,

like fretwork or frost, mothers make daughters

who turn into hosts for their own sons and daughters

and for those daughters' ghosts. The river that runs through the city carries their mark.

The giant come down from the mountain is gifted their work:

factories and furnaces, rope, motor parts,

bolts of stiffened cloth that cover half the earth

in linen's tracery, and a single magnificent ship

-avatar, princess, weather-beare mystic-

He's gifted finer materials forged in invisible workshops:

street-songs and choruses, lullabies, flute music,

poems scrawled in margins about blackbirds, myths-

He's gifted postcards sent by husbands lost at sea,

stories of gain, stories of ruin, stories of you and me-

He's gifted the endless changing stream

of letters and words that make us human,

that cannot be believed-

that a small child planted like a pomegranate seed

and then hid her face in her sleeve...

And the shaft that shatters everything is GRACE

Longer than life

Higher than space

Longer than life

Higher than space

Longer than life

Higher than space

Longer than life

Higher than space

Longer than life

Higher than space

Land of Giants

  1. A film of the largest, outdoor artistic endeavour in Northern Ireland.
  2. Land of Giants is a spectacular, thrilling and theatrical celebration of the giants of Northern Ireland and the people who created them. Featuring a 400-strong cast of exceptional performers and musicians, breathtaking aerial stunts and beautiful animation the show marks a historic moment for the region.
  3. A spectacular, thrilling and theatrical celebration of the giants - mythical, industrial, cultural, literary and social - of Northern Irish heritage. Not only a story of the extraordinary things the region has produced, but more specifically the men and women who are the foundation of all that has been built there. Staged on the historic Titanic Slipways and featuring a 400-strong cast of exceptional performers and musicians combined with breathtaking aerial stunts and lyrical animation - Land of Giants marks a historic moment in Belfast’s resurgence.

Land of Giants was written, designed and directed by Mark Murphy and presented by Giant Events Company in association with Belfast Community Circus School, Beat Initiative, Young at Art and Belfast City Council.

The production was a highlight of the London 2012 Festival in Northern Ireland and was funded by Legacy Trust UK with additional support from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

This film was funded for The Space by Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Written, designed and directed by Mark Murphy

Poetry and Prose by Sinead Morrissey

Musical Score by Nathaniel Reid

Produced by John Wassell & Kathy Hayes

Titanic scene

Titanic Brochure Copy

We leave the deck and pass through one of the doors to the interior and, as if by magic, we at once lose the feeling that we are on board a ship, and seem instead to be entering the hall of some great house on shore. The handsome bronze ceiling lights will reflect their hundred beams upon the glittering jewels of women in brilliant evening dress.

The ceiling is of plaster, with delicately modelled flowers, forming a simple design of trellis in the centre, and garlands in the bays. In the middle of the hall rises a gracefully carved staircase, its balustrade supported by light scrollwork of iron. The panel contains a clock - a female figure on either side. We are suddenly in the presence of Honour and Glory. And they are crowning Time.

Draughtsman 1

Not just the biggest, but the brightest ship on the planet. Electric baths. Electric holding doors that close at the flick of a switch from the bridge. Electric lifts. They'll be riding between decks in their ostrich-feather hats, their walking sticks and spats. And all of it lit up like a Christmas tree in the middle of the black Atlantic. I heard them say ten thousand incandescent lamps at the finish. Lights in every room and passageway. Dimmer switches. Frosted shades. Lights like a million candles reflected in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. And outside under the stars, if stars there are, round skid lights the length and breadth of her. Like you could unstring them, stand them up end over end, and reach heaven. They've taken what we've drawn and made it shine.

Family Album


Mary Agatha Clarke: daughter, millworker, wife, mother. Departed this life before forty on a narrow settle one freezing Sunday. Was brought to the carding room aged ten years old and walked home from her first day at work with dust in her eyelashes, as though she'd been sleeping in snow.

In 1869, Mr Dickens, his dear face familiar as the Queen's, put on a show 'for the female linen workers of the city' at the Ulster Hall. And there they were. Coughing. In shawls. He stood in an arc of gaslight, or strode backwards and forwards like a shuttling loom. When Marley and Marley arrived back from the dead, to terrify old Ebeneezer Scrooge...

Mary held her ravaged breath.


Seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Bridget Mary Clarke had second sight, but she didn't believe it. Not until she worked for a Presbyterian Minister in a house with bay windows off the Antrim Road. September 1914. She was 16. The whole Empire on fire with war fever and the two oldest sons enlisted right off the bat. Brought to the foot of the stairs to curtsy her goodbye...

Bridget could tell one of them wouldn't return by the way his face blurred at the edges, like he'd already been rubbed out.


With his two oldest brothers still away at the Front, John Donaldson watched the dust motes fall through the windows of Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church while his father preached. In his first poem he tried to describe the dust motes-how they were there but not there, like the Holy Spirit descending and then ascending again. By 1936 he thought poetry frivolous and signed himself up for the International Brigade. That second winter, stationed in the Catalonian Mountains, he had never known such cold.

But that didn’t stop him writing poems against Franco as Barcelona burned


She was a war bride, and the ring was war gold, barely thick enough to carry the inscription my heart with thee, but she didn't care.

Not enough flowers inside the Georgian church on Rosemary Street either, just James in his uniform. The next day he was off to the Battle of the Atlantic. She kept two letters all her life.

The first: Dear Mrs. Margaret Cunningham, the War Department regrets to inform you-when the 'Mrs' still felt strange. The second, a week later but delayed by months, was from James himself: I know I'll come out of this alive because I've a reason to. What fellow ever had a better reason to than you?


Sean McConnell, oldest of three, moved to a house in Turf Lodge with an inside bathroom when he was 14. Loved military history - could recite the number of Spartans killed in the Battle of Thermopylae or the names of destroyers sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic like decades of the Rosary. First in his family to fly through university. Was 20 in 1966. Hitchhiked to Istanbul in the summer of '67 and thought the hunger, the sleeping in doorways and the filthy clothes worth it, suddenly...

As he beheld the Blue Mosque.


Christine MacRae, forever the older sister. When the Beatles played the Ritz in 1963, she'd gone along to keep her baby sister Alice company. All those wee girls making eejits of themselves… The last time Christine saw her sister was in the summer of '72.

Alice had gone into town to buy herself a dress.

A dress she would never wear.

After that, whenever Christine heard The Beatles, she thought of the two of them at the concert and how she'd screamed all night long because she hadn't been able to help herself. It was electric. They'd finished with 'Twist and Shout'.


Achym Jaworski - 34. First Polish Officer in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Duties mostly ordinary. When he's not patrolling the Limestone Road, he swims in the new Grove Leisure Centre, where he turns the women's heads. In the Northern Whig Bar, in the company of three statues of Soviet Revolutionary Heroes, was asked a question by a Belfast woman he'd only been out with twice.

Said yes.

They posed on the sandstone staircase of Belfast Castle for their wedding photographs.

When their first child was born they called her Grace.


Grace Jaworski's great great great maternal grandfather, Sammy McComb: shipbuilder with Mssrs. Harland and Wolff. From 15 to 50, traded bawdy jokes with his workmates - a gantry comedian. Had seen Cissie Loftus 'The Mimetic Marvel' sing Molly My Darling at the Alhambra Theatre of Varieties in 1899 and never forgotten it. Thought the rivets were like musical instruments - the clash and clatter of them, the rhythm to the white-hot work. Met his wife Polly in a tea shop, persuaded her to have a second cup.

Then by 1912, no matter how loud the singing on stage, no matter how rowdy the audience, no matter how many times Polly leaned in to explain...

He couldn't hear a thing.

Cast & Crew

Titanic Slipways, Belfast

Written and directed by Mark Murphy

Presented by Giant Events Company in association with Young at Art, Belfast Community Circus School, The Beat Carnival and Belfast City Council

Funded by

Legacy Trust UK (on its own line)

Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Arts Council for Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council

Northern Ireland Tourist Board

London 2012 Festival

Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment

Creative Team

Written and Directed by Mark Murphy

Writer of poetry and prose - Sinead Morrissey

Musical Director - Nathaniel Reed

Assistant Director - Claire Lamont

Advisor and Music Production Coordinator - Cormac O’Kane

Production Designers - Becky Minto & Stephen Bamford

Lighting Design - Stephen Page

Sound Design - Melvyn Coote

Pyro Design - Sammy Samkin

Costume Designer - Diana Innes

Wardrobe Mistress - Christine Boyle

Choreography - Michelle Man, James Hewison

Aerial artists - Cinthia Beranek, Simone Jenkinson, Joseph Traynor,

Brigid Charlton, Kelsey Long

Production Team

Creative Producer - John Wassell

Associate Producer - Kathy Hayes

Production Manager - Ellie Turner

Associate Production Manager - Patricia Murray

Finance and Admin Officer - Kathy Young

Community Engagement Manager - Eibhlin de Barra

Participation Coordinator - Mave Dempster

Production Co-ordinator - Kevin Carroll

Voluntary Cast Liaison - Louise Davidson


Producer - Graham Robinson

Creative Director - Jasbeer Singh

Lead Illustrator - Peter Strain

Rotoscope Artist - Ciaran Gallagher, David Henderson, Chris Scullion

Animators - Darren Vandenburg, Mike Bass


The Beat Carnival - John Quinn, Dave Clarke, Timmy Hannington, Mike Long

The Work shop

Andrew MacIntyre

Costume Assistants

Gemma Porter, Alexandra Moore, Jade O’Neill, Wendy McLorinan, Jenna Wells, Sean Fitzsimons, Grace Porter, Rebecca Boyd, Clare Kilpatrick, Deborah Cadwallader, Emily Mason, Carolyn Bunting


Uillean Pipes, Low Whistle - John McSherry

Vocals - Oonagh Derby

Cello - Neil Martin

Fiddle - Donal O’Connor

Choir Arranger - Lorna McLaughlin

Harp - Joleen McLaughlin

Bodhran - Rohan Young

Spoken Voices - Sinead Morrissey, Vincent Higgins, Claire Lamont

Engineer - Cormac O’Kane

Assist. Engineer - Kyran Donaldson

Recorded at Rhubarb Recording, Belfast

Stage Management

Show Caller - Alison Brodie

Assistant Show Caller - Cara McGimpsey

Head Stage Manager - Scott McDonald

Stage Managers - Zoe Fox, Caoimhe Regan, Siobhan Shiels, Jacqueline O’Hagan

Stage Management Interns - Leona Nally, Catherine Grealish, Siobhan Barbour

Pyro Technics

Walk the Plank


Barnz Munn, Alex Palmer, Barny Wreyford

Sound and Lighting

John Redfern - Assistant to Sound Designer

Colum Fitzsimons - Lighting intern

Chris Lavery - Sound Intern

Production Interns

Producer Interns - Alex Stone & Emma Davidson

Production Manager Interns - Emily Muirhead, Siobhan Day

Production Assistant Interns - Chloe Allison, Sonia Carralho, Ashton Montgomery

Show Crew

Chris Montgomery, Daniel Turley, Matt Gelespi, Nadine Casley, Fred

Circus Arts For Employment (CAFE) Graduates

Emily Aiobheann, Karen Anderson, Helen Ashton, Aaltje Cuperus, Rachael Devenney, Emmen Donnelly, Juliette Gruss, Nura Isa, Becky Laidlaw, Steven Logan, Chris McAuley, Elaine McCague, Gail O’Brien, Brian O’Connell, Sinead Quinn, Cian Reilly, Natalie Thompson, Natasha Wilton

Gold Elite Volunteer Performers

Laura Arico, Matthew Cavan, Holly Conlon, Clare Corke, Lesely Ann Craig, Ryan Crother, Nirlane Cruz, Ana De Silva, Franciso Del-Amo, Anna Fitzsimons, Jack Freebairn, Jamie Hawthorne, Gerard Kelly, Jean Kernohan, Rory Knox, Chloe Latimer, Daniel Leith, Brenda Liddy, Claire Lynch, Paddy Joe Martin, Sinead-Marie McAllister, Craig McCune, Stefan McCusker, Aneta Murawska, Tiago Picao, Teresa Sanchez, Alejandro Saucedo, Emma Scott, Anaelle Strauch, Kirstie Toman, Aisling Twomey, Morgan Van Dyk, Jan Wishart, Kirstie Woodside

Silver Elite Volunteer Performers

Fiona KcKernan, Donard McLarnon, Katie McMullan, Conor O’Kane, Hannah Robinson, Chelsea English, Paddy Joe Anderson, Jamie Plant, Cherith McKeown, Chantal McTeer, Trevor Kennedy, Shannon Hamilton, Jayne Smith, Thomas Horner, Edward Horner, Katie Van Winkle

Bronze Elite Volunteer Performers

Catriona Varini, Ciara McGrath, Sarah McDermott, Tracey Truesdale, Maria Compitaki, Jenny Irvine, Maria Barr

Drummers - Recruited and managed by The Beat Carnival

Project Manager - Eileen Branagh

Drumming Coordinator - Damian Mills

Drumming Forum Leaders - Matt Vernon, Paul Marshall , Rohan Young, Richard Campbell, Brian Fleming

Afreeka, Belfast

John Gillen, Suzanne McConville, Stephen McIlroy, Michael Rooney, Darren Turley

Jim Ward

Beatndrum, Belfast

Michael Campbell, Stefanie Campbell, Max Carnson, Tanya Coulter, Alannah Crawford, Joanne Crawford, Bronagh Duffy, Marcella Gilliland, Matt Jamison, Caoimhe Mallon, Clare Mason, Kevin McCarry, Rosie McDowell, Aidan McGrath, Michael McKenna, Conor Teahan, Stephen McKenna, Michelle Nolan

Bready Pipe Band Corps, Co. Londonderry

Jamie Adair, Hayden Campbell, Lochlain Ferguson, Stephen Taylor

Brownlow Integrated College, Craigavon

Lidia Bell, Joel Black, James Carson, Jack Chatten, Stephanie Lennox, Callum McAloran, Ryan McClelland, Aimee McConville, Ruth Norton, Ashley Robinson, Joshua Siron, Ben Thompson, Shannon Zorrin Jefferson

Chidabaram, Belfast

Cherry Cantrell, Kay Gemmert, Nora Greer, Maria Guelbenzu, Darci Johnston

Individual Drummers

Clive Earnes, Zach Cardwell, Max Jordan, John Martin, Conor McCarr, Luke O’Neill, Simon Porter

Itchyfeet, Sligo

Stephanie Pawulla, Laura Karhounen, Del Thoroughgood

Morro 16, Dublin

Stephen Gentleman, Amie Lawless, Annie Marie Maguire, Jackie Maguire, Daniel Orchel, Francesca Placido

Rhythmriot Music, Kilkenny

Jennifer Duffy, Thomas Duffy, Rebecca Gangnus, Tamara Gangnus

Samba Mammas, Drogheda

Kieran Gallagher, Liza Cunningham-Hughes, Mary Delany Fagan, Alice Duff, Annemarie Farrell, Martina Farrell, Kim Martin-Beards, Frances McDonnell, Jane Mead, Caroline Moran, Deborah Moustafa, Ann Murphy, Joan Sadlier, Karen Smith, Denise Walsh-Judd

Shankill Drumming Club, Belfast

Daniel Menabney, Simon Menabney, Ian Menabney

St Gerard’s Educational Resource Centre, Belfast

Shane Hegarty, Martin Maguire, Michael Mulvenna, Ciaran Emmet O’Neill

Streetwise, Belfast

Amy Fitsimons, Shane Gilliland, Kerrie Hannah, Matty Maxwell, Andrew McDowell, Ruairi McKinney, Aidan Milligan, Graham Milligan, Fergal O’Hagan, Roisin Mohan, Lorraine Montegue, Catherine Pawlaczyk, Aoife Raleigh

The Exhausted Farmers, Enniskillen

Sara Barry, Andy Avery, Donna Bannon, David Buchanan, Lisa McCabe, Caspar McCabe, Marcus McCabe, Sheena McGorman, Kate Mullaney, Sinead Reilly, Rad Repass

The Young Bodhrans, Belfast

Cieran Brady, Maurice Dickson, Chris Fowler, Michael Ludlow, Dermot Moynagh, Kirk Mullally, Brendan Murray, Daniel Lappin

Western Education & Library Board Djembe Drummers

Bethany Doherty, Caoimhe Mallon, Jennifer McDuff, Kim Owens, Laura O’Neill, Maria Morrison, Edel Patterson, Ronan McKee, Shannon Boyle, Clare Sweeney

Waltzers - Ballroom Blitz Formation Team

Debbie Worsley, Allister Parke, Cheryl Hoy, John McMullen, Michelle Cardwell, Jason Dean, Paula Tranter, Mervyn Henry,Amanda Hutchman, Alex Marshall, Debbie Osborne, Raymond Henry, Carol Bothwell, Stuart Patterson, Ruth Stewart, Gary Mawhinney

Singers - recruited and managed by Young at Art


Elaine Adair, Martin Bowles, Stephen Carson, Shane Cassidy, Michael Davidson, Alexis Dickson, Tony Doherty, Duane Farrell, Chris French, Geraldine Gallagher, Mark Johnston, Adam Knight, Maria McBride, Kathleen McCaul, Leanne McCrory, Jenny McMahon, Liz Millar, Ken Moffett, Andy Murdock, Colette Ruddy

Holywood Parish Church Jubilate

Janet Elliott, Jayne Forster, Charlotte Geddis, Rachel Keown, Chris Hardacre, Alex Hardacre, Deirdre Harshaw, Patricia Hollinger, Rosemary Maxwell, Heather McCord, Hilary McGowan, Anthea McWilliams, Catherine O’Neill, Fiona Presho, Erin Richardson, Moyra Richardson, Paddy Richardson, Gordon Wright

Star Singers

Maggie Barton, Irene Bell, Robert Best, Ann Carnachan, Ian Carnachan, Mary Curry, Ellie Duly, Louise Hudson, Mona McMurray, Peter Millar, Anne Mornin, Maureen Mulholland, Rose Oliver, Anna Maria Palmer, Maria Pundyke, Mira Ratkovic, Glynis Rickard

Voca Loca

Brigitte Anton, Yvonne Blythe, Geraldine Coghlan, Aine Morrison, Rosana Trainor,

Nancy Graham

Queens Island Victoria Male Voice Choir

Roy Allen, Andy Dornan, Harry Dow, Brian Eve, Dessie Ferguson, Tom Holmes, Sam Kennedy, George Ryan

Spark Opera Chorus

Aine Darnbrook, Kate Guelke


Aileen Browne, Pamela Gough, Kathleen Lavery, Grainne McCann

Feile Women’s Singing Group

Sinead Boyle, Debbie Muldoon, Paula O’Brien, Carmel Turley

Individual Singers

Astrid Thomson, Laura Thomson, Marilyn Annesley, Ralph Annesley, Gemma-Louise Bond, Hanae Nakamura, Andrew McBride, Joanna McCandless, Jonathan McCandless, Edna Ryan

With thanks to


Glover Cranes

Rhubarb Recordings

Production House

Production Services Ireland


Event and Access Solutions


Mobile Mini

Titanic Quarter

Titanic Belfast

Belfast Metropolitan College

On Route Catering

Gordon Darragh Work Boats

Mobile Mini

Premier Inn

The Black Box

Ana Clothing Ltd.

Small World Music

The Dock Cafe



Giant is Coming


The Giant is Coming was a unique event combining interactive installation and live performance exploring what a 'giant' is from a child's perspective and how great things can come from small beginnings

The co-production with Young at Art and Assault Events incorporated music, song & movement and asked audiences to step inside a room filled with the giants of literature and climb into a place where all perspectives of size changed.

The Giant is Coming was a highlight of the 2012 Belfast Children’s Festival and toured Northern Ireland visiting venues in Limavady, Portadown, Omagh and Belfast.

Journey to the Land of Giants

This extraordinary co-production between Belfast Community Circus School and Beat Carnival featured a cast of 65 performers including the Rathgael Gymnastics Club.

The production told the tale of the building of two of Northern Ireland’s most famous giants – the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic - brought to life through live music, acrobatics, aerial circus and carnival.

Premiering at Belfast’s Festival of Fools Journey to Land of Giants then embarks on a journey of its own touring from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry.

Young At Art

Young at Art is a dedicated children's arts organisation and organiser of the annual international Belfast Children’s Festival, NI's largest children's cultural event. It also creates and produces special projects, outreach and development programmes for children and young people year round. Over 40,000 people take part in a Young at Art activity each year

Belfast Community Circus

In 2011, the Circus School staged performances seen by around 200,000 people and delivered circus workshops for 1400 young people. BCCS ran a 10 month full time training programme to create 18 of the key performers for Land of Giants – including key aerialists. 17 of these graduates are now working in the field of circus arts. Together with Beat Initiative, BCCS created Northern Ireland’s biggest ever street show, Journey to the Land of Giants which opened the international Festival of Fools and featured a cast of 65.

The Beat Carnival

The Beat Carnival is the lead Carnival Arts organisation in Northern Ireland: providing weekly training programmes; education, development and work facilities; and producing carnival parades and large-scale performances with thousands of participants and audiences of over 190,000 each year.

Belfast City Council

Belfast City Council Events Unit has extensive experience of managing large-scale events including the Tall Ships in 2009 which attracted over 500,000 visitors to Belfast in just three days. In November 2011 Belfast hosted MTV Europe Music Awards supported by array of events under the banner of Belfast Music Week and in April 2012 the Events Unit oversaw the Titanic Belfast Festival an exciting programme of special events to commemorate the centenary of the world’s most famous ship.

Legacy Trust UK: Lottery Funded

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