Members of Hall For Cornwall’s youth theatre group told the fascinating story of Truro City Hall through a series of performances on Lemon Quay last Saturday.

Part of its Revealing City Hall project, outdoor performances by the youth theatre group and the junior and senior dance groups brought the 175-year history of this iconic building to life in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

HFC’s creative director Helen Tiplady said: “Our Revealing City Hall project is all about sharing the hidden stories of the building and celebrating its rich history through a programme of theatrical events and activities.

“Over the past 10 weeks we have been working with our youth theatre and dance groups to develop special pieces to bring specific elements of its history to life.”

Built in 1847, the Grade II* listed City Hall building has been the engine of Truro’s civic, cultural and social life.

From hosting Cornwall’s Stannary parliament to offering a space for today’s city council and coroner’s court, the building has also been used as a cinema, a fire and police station, a market, a rifle rage and a roller rink.

Under the watchful eye of its historic clock, whose minute hand has ticked more than 90 million times, the City Hall has seen cattle shows, fashion events and even baby bathing competitions.

More than 20 years ago the building became home to Hall for Cornwall.

Some of the country’s best musicians, dancers, actors, comedians, storytellers and activists have been welcomed through the doors.

From Freddie Mercury’s first Queen gig and Morrissey’s pre-performance meat market antics to its much-loved Christmas show trilogy, serious entertainers have wowed audiences on stage. 

With support from heritage outreach officer Kim Healey and the youth theatre team including Simon Harvey, Rob Mennear and Suzie West, the 27 members of the junior youth theatre group told the story of the construction of the original building  and the first performance of rock group Queen, then known as “Smile”.

Director Simon Harvey said: “This has been a great project to be part of. By reinterpreting history in different ways, and adding a sprinkling of irreverence, we can bring it to life and help people to remember it. 

“The building has particular importance for members of HFC’s youth groups and it has been fantastic to watch them taking what they have learnt about the history of the building and using it to shape their individual performances.”