Victorian criminals back by popular demand

Ghosts of the Lock-Up to haunt Steelhouse Lane once more.

Following a sell-out run last year, Birmingham’s Victorian Lock-up in Steelhouse Lane will be resurrecting the spirits of past residents once again this July 12th-21st with Behind Bars: Ghosts of the Lock-Up, which takes a theatrical journey through the cells, corridors and stairways of this eerie Grade II listed prison.

As visitors move around the building, they’ll encounter real characters from the Lock-Up’s history including convicted murderer James Twitty; Maud Dillon, arrested for Indecent Behaviour; and the notorious Tommy Tank, who was incarcerated so many times for being drunk and disorderly that he was banned from every pub in the city.

One surprising attendee was the world-famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt who was required to sign the Alien’s Register when she performed at the Birmingham Grand Theatre during the First World War.

One previous audience member said the show, “Sent shivers down my spine several times.” Another called it, “An amazing use of such an interesting building”. Other reviews included “Brilliant”, “Absolutely riveting” and “A real triumph.” This will be one of the last chances to see inside the Lock-Up before it closes for redevelopment.

The show has been written by eight of the region’s leading writers, including Tim Stimpson who is also directing the new production. Tim, who writes for Birmingham-made radio institution The Archers, says, “We’re delighted to be returning to the Lock-Up so that even more visitors can enjoy the unique experience of exploring one of Birmingham’s most notorious buildings. We’ll be summoning up a few ghosts of our own but, as the Lock-Up is reputedly haunted, we can’t say who else may put in an unscheduled appearance!”

The show lasts around an hour and runs several times a day on July 12th, 13th, 20th and 21st. Tickets cost £15 and can be pre-booked via Eventbrite