St George's Hall opened its doors to the public in 1854, and boasts the splendid Great Hall with its vaulted ceiling and Minted floor, and the Small Concert Room still used for concerts today. Perhaps the most unusual feature amongst all this grandeur is the Crown and Civil Court which were still working courts until the 1980's and it is where local company Lovehistory focuses there current show.
Lovehistory focuses on the Victorian gangs of Liverpool, taking the audience back to a time where the city was once a dangerous place to live and work. Where it was a common occurrence for stabbings, and countless incidents of violence and where gangs ruled the neighbourhoods. No one was safe and if you were caught and brought in front of the judge then it was very likely that you would have ended up in a tiny, cold and filthy cell beneath the splendour and grandeur of St George himself.
There are many characters along the way, all with their sad tales of violence and loss including a young woman of the night who is beaten regularly all for a few pennies. The story of 13 year old Michael Burns who is beaten to death by a group of boys is told in the court room itself where the perpetrator, sat head bowed next to the ferocious judge complete with wig, tells us the facts of that night on Christmas Eve 1883. The stories and characters get darker as do the locations as our guide played by Niall Ross Hogan, leads us down into the very heart of St Georges Hall. Storytelling done in this way can paint its own picture as far as atmosphere and tone, as you only have to gaze around you to imagine these characters and the stories that are unfolded before us.
A strong cast of actors that do well in this promenade piece packed full of interesting and well-researched characters of the past, and which is housed in the most splendid of buildings. Lovehistory really does bring to life characters that shaped Liverpool and highlights just how rich our history is. Told in this way it is a real treat for anyone who is a history buff or for anyone wanting a peek inside one of the country's most inspirational buildings.
Cast: Michael Hawkins, Nathan Tunstall, Lawrence Larkin, Stephen Turner, Warren Kettle, Niall Ross Hogan, Lois Crawford, Samantha Walton, Katie King, Jimmy McLean, Michael Swift, Jordan Burke, Kathryn Rigby.