The Subterranean Theatre: The Maurie
The Maurie, written by Writing on the Wall’s Mike Morris, directed by Carl Cockram, was based on a 1920’s short story by rediscovered Liverpool seaman and writer George Garrett. It celebrated the mighty ‘scouse boat’ The Mauretania, and the lives and conflicts of those who worked below decks in the ‘Subterranean Theatre’ of the ships’ stokehold.
This innovative piece of theatre a Mayoral Commission ran from the 2nd to the 13th June and was part of ‘One Magnificent City’ cultural programme.
George Garrett (1896-1966), a Liverpool born Merchant Seaman, travelled the world and wrote a series of short stories, stage plays and documentary reports about poverty and struggle in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Garrett showed George Orwell around Liverpool when Orwell was researching his seminal work on unemployment in the 1930’s, The Road To Wigan Pier.
By transforming the basement of the grade 2 listed Cunard Building into an engine room, ‘The Maurie’ delved into the underbelly of the mighty ‘Scouse Boat’; The Mauretania, and offered the audience a chance to tour the rooms of The Cunard Building as the play lead them through the lives of those whose labour, powered the mighty ships, glimpsing into the preserved basements of the building which echo the stokeholds of the ships that first crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
Wendy Simon, Liverpool Labour’s Cabinet member for Culture and Tourism: ‘Fantastic performance, George Garret’s work and life in Cunard’s basement amazing’
Deborah Morgan: ‘A brilliant show, poignant and enlightening, well done!’
Jenny Higham, Liverpool University Special Archives Manager: ‘Loved The Maurie play in Cunard Building last night powerful and evocative story’