The Legend of the Mernix is a unique multimedia experience that invites audiences to join a quest to find hope in hard times.

The experience was created collaboratively by the citizens and artists of Birkenhead, Bootle and Collective Encounters through a digital participatory theatre process, as part of Collective Encounters’ Above and Beyond programme.

The story of the Mernix is as old as the wind. She was a glorious, winged fish, with golden beak and sapphire eyes, and while she lived in the river all were well and happy. But now the memory of the Mernix is faded into legend, and we live in dark times. Did she lay an egg? Could hope be reborn? Will you join the quest: help us restore hope in our communities?

There are four quests to choose from–two digital and two physical. Each quest takes approximately 1 hour and all you need is a map…

If you join the digital quest you will follow Fred or Suzanne, both ordinary people living ordinary lives. But something extraordinary is about to happen that will change everything forever. Will you help them as they journey into the unknown? The digital experience interweaves beautiful animation, performance, activism, storytelling, kindness, adventure and even a sea shanty!

If you take the physical quest, you will be bestowed a map to help you follow the promise of hope and perhaps find the Mernix egg. Journeying through the heart of Birkenhead or Bootle you will uncover hidden hope, encounter inspiring characters, think and dream. Each quest is an accessible walking loop just under 3 km integrating digital performance, sites of unexpected beauty, activism, song and curiosity.

To get the most out of the physical quest, please take a fully-charged smartphone and a set of earphones with you.

Join the quest


The Legend of the Mernix was collaboratively created by

Andrew Arthur

Janet Baker

Keith Barber

Tim Bowman

Kim Broughton

Tessa Buddle

Annette Burghes

Val Burton

Abi Horsfield

Aidan Jolly

Sheree Kenton

Bea Kirby

Dude Leyland

Marie Lynch

Patricia Moffett

Jane Pratt

Becks Rourke

Claire Sharples

Tom Shennan

Brain Shortall

Karen Siddle

Caitlin Strongarm

Sarah Thornton

Carolyn Wall

Harriet Warnock

Arthur Waterloo

Paul Whiteside

Nicola Williams

Zoe Wilton

Kimberley Woodward


As well as many other citizens and artists from Bootle and Birkenhead


Thanks to all our amazing community partners who have been with us on this incredible journey and for the fantastic work you do for and with the community.  We hope we have reflected it in this piece.