Murder at St George's Hall (Liverpool)
Carole Baldock enjoys playing detective in this fun and immersive experience at St George's Hall
We was robbed, a risk you take during an evening of criminal investigation, murder in this instance; despite many cunning calculations, our table picked the wrong suspect.
At the outset, the audience is regaled with four stories about criminals tried in this building, found guilty and executed - then one of the assorted characters is found murdered. But whodunit? And don't forget to suspend credulity; we're talking ghosts.
Unfortunately, the lighting is sometimes blindingly obvious with acoustics all too lively, making it difficult to hear; one young lady was doomed to roam unheard and we never did work out who she was.
So the walking dead move amongst the audience, unnervingly straight faced, and you can question them. Or the judge Sir Henry Hawkins, a sternly upright Stephen Reeds, or the narrator, Harvey Lunsdale Elmes, precisely played by Stephen Turner.
Some suspects are well-known: the Maybricks, where ironically, the victim James was later suspected of being Jack the Ripper. The other cases of poison involve Elizabeth Berry and The Black Widows of Liverpool. But the performances which most evoked those dark times and places whilst resonating today were those of Richard Morgan (Nick Sheedy) and John McCrave (Michael Hawkins), leader of a gang of yobs who kicked the former to death for refusing to hand over six pence for drink.
Lovehistory, fiendishly clever, have come up with the right solution: the magnificent surroundings of St George's, with exquisite decorations: floral, tables etc, an excellent meal and guests dressed up to the nines, with many a fancy costume. ‘Twas indeed a splendid evening's entertainment.
- Carole Baldock