On the 15th May, as part of Liverpool’s city wide celebrations, LJMU’s Library Services hosted an evening of entertainment, information and fun both in the Aldham Robarts Library and at the Everyman Theatre, in partnership with our colleagues at the world famous theatre.
The theme of the event was ‘Life on the Ocean Wave’, inspired by the 175th anniversary of the Cunard shipping company and the visit of the ‘Three Queens’ to the city over the bank holiday
weekend. A special exhibition was curated by both students and staff, which displayed some of the items from the “Life on the Ocean Wave: A Collection of Cruise Ship Ephemera and Collectibles”, a fascinating collection of ephemera taken from the LJMU archives.
On the night, staff really got into the spirit of the event and transformed into a glamorous crew, ready to challenge visitors to vintage deck games, hand out canapes and guide people around the buildings. They even scored Library Services its first front cover as local paper, the MerseyMart chose to feature our stylish staff as their cover girls for a special ‘Light Night’ issue.
Musical entertainment was provided by the LJMU Wellbeing Choir who performed a suitably nautical programme, including favourites such as ‘The Leaving of Liverpool’ and ‘The Drunken Sailor’ which was thankfully not a description of any of the staff! Additional music was given by the ‘Steele Family Strings’ a mother and daughter violin and piano duet who also both happen to be LJMU staff, who performed showtime classics such as ‘Moon River’ and ‘Cheek to Cheek’.
The evening also featured a varied programme of talks delivered by both students and academic staff covering many aspects of life on board, from onboard fashion to the history and marketing of the Cunard company. Research interests were also featured in the talks on Oscar Wilde in America, the anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania and local writer George Garrett.
Over at the Everyman theatre there were more deck games, live music, a display of cruisewear fashions by LJMU students, themed cocktails and an impressive light and sound installation.
Although the Light Night event may be over, its legacy lives on. Following the success of the student exhibition at the Everyman theatre, the new link between the theatre costume department and the LJMU fashion team will provide opportunities for future collaborations.
The Cunard Exhibition continues to be on display in the Aldham Robarts Library until the 8th July so please do come and have a look at some of the items which have helped keep Cunard at the forefront of luxury travel for the last 175 years!