St George’s Hall unveils 170th birthday plans

This year is the 170th birthday of the completion of the magnificent Neoclassical St George’s Hall in Liverpool and there’ll be a series of events to mark the anniversary. Tony McDonough reports

St George's Hall
Grade I-listed St George’s Hall in Liverpool celebrates 170 years this year


A series of events this summer will mark the 170th anniversary of St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

St George Hall was opened in 1854, after 16 years of construction. Its design was a result of two separate competitions to create a court and concert space. The winning architect, Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, was aged just 25 years old.

Charles Dickens performed on several occasions in the hall, giving readings of A Christmas Carol. The venue also recently witnessed popstar Will I Am give an impromptu performance on its Henry Willis Organ.

Grade I-listed, the Neoclassical St George’s Hall remains one of the finest buildings in Britain. SGH170 brings together the old and new with a programme of music, comedy and more including new commissions and performances in new spaces.

With tickets going on sale today (9am on Friday, June 21) the key events in the programme include:

  • EONARIUM Enlightenment – The Great Hall, July 6 to September 29. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 3pm to 8.30pm. Sundays 10am to 3.30pm. Explore the four seasons through a breathtaking visual and auditory experience, and immerse yourself in a unique perspective of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
  • Jacaranda’s Rock N’ Roll Circus: The Concert Room, Thursday August 1. The Jacaranda’s Rock N Roll Circus is a band of local musicians, with guests from many local bands, who play music mainly from the 60s ‘Rock N Roll Era’ every Saturday night in the Jac basement.
  • Comedy in the Concert Room: The Concert Room, Friday August 2. “An evening of laughter” featuring Liverpool’s Adam Rowe plus Live at the Apollo favourites Josh Pugh and Laura Lexx.
  • The Narrative: The Concert Room, Tuesday, August 6. This is a songwriter showcase and networking event featuring 3 incredible songwriters telling the stories behind their songs and performing ‘in the round’.
  • The Wombat Jazz Festival: The Concert Room, Sunday September 1. The first of its kind in Liverpool, brings together a selection of the best jazz in the city.

Reopened on St George’s Day in 2007 by the then Prince Charles, after a £23m makeover, the building is now a key events space and regularly hosts weddings.

Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, said: “How lucky are we in Liverpool to have St George’s Hall? It’s one of Britain’s most beautiful buildings and it deserves to be celebrated in a special way.

“It’s also been at the heart of many of Liverpool’s lowest and highest points. Its history is the people’s – it’s where we have come for almost two centuries to protest, to mourn and to celebrate as one.

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“That’s why we want the 170th anniversary celebrations to reflect that history and give everyone a cultural journey through the ages with a series of shows that will showcase its magnificence and its significance.”

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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