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St George's Hall launches new Immersive Digital Heritage Experience


CAVA congratulates St George's Hall, Gazooky Studios, Immersive Interactive and Music in Mind for their fantastic new visitor attraction, The History Whisperer™ , funded by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. The project is based on and contains content from CAVA's 2019/20 St George's Hall mixed reality prototype experience (see link below). Prof Richard Koeck, Jemma Street and Monika Koeck were fortunate enough to be asked to be involved in the conception, research and implementation of this exciting new attraction for the city of Liverpool.  

Since opening its doors in 1854, St George’s Hall has become known as one of the world’s finest neoclassical buildings. When the Victorians designed and funded this iconic landmark, they sought to elevate the hearts and minds of Liverpool’s citizens beyond the here and now, lifting them above the everyday and the ordinary to create a place in which deeply contrasting moments in the life of the city converged. Concealed behind and beneath the building’s magnificent Great Hall and Concert Room – lauded by the likes of Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens – stand the gloomy, intimidating environs of the city’s law courts and prisoner holding cells. Here, hidden from the gilded grandeur of the impressively decorated entertaining spaces nearby, yet under the same roof, local people were brought to stand trial, receiving ruthless sentences for even the most trivial of crimes.

The St George’s Hall Experience: The History Whisperer™ transports visitors to a time when this extraordinary building served as the meeting point for opposite extremes of mid 19th century society, with opulence and destitution existing in startlingly close proximity. Full of the heart, humour, emotion and dreams that epitomize this unique city, our young ‘history whisperer’ – embodied in the character of a young girl named ‘Livie’ – leads visitors on an immersive journey through the sights and sounds of 1850s prison life, exploring Liverpool’s fascinating social history and the harsh realities of the Victorian justice system.

Prof Koeck notes: “Located within one of our most important heritage landmarks, the Grade I listed St Georges's Hall, The History Whisperer™ is a fusion of architecture, moving image projections and storytelling. We helped create a new visitor attraction that is built upon a combination of spatial authenticity and imaginative storytelling. It is conceived as an inclusive, site-specific immersive experience in which the history of place and people are intertwined, executed in a historically sensitive context, using latest mapping, digital compositing and sensor technologies. Most importantly, it is scalable and I will not be surprised to see similar types of installations coming up in other cities in the UK and abroad. As is so often the case, it started in Liverpool."

Nearly 2000 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours of the attraction’s launch. We invite you all to secure a ticket and to see the show for yourself. Further information, please see links below.

Image Credits: Staged Kaos and Ant Clausen


Friday. 08 October 2021

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