The ReinACTments project was a partnership between Open the Door Theatre in Education and Croxteth Hall and Country Park funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project was lead by ayouth steering committee (YSC) of seven young people aged between 13 – 19, supported by Open the Door and Croxteth Hall staff.
Despite being an area of considerable natural beauty with many community minded residents, Croxteth has received some bad press in recent years, leading many young people to feel embarrassed about their area. During the researchsection of the project, the young people learned about the great historicalimportance and significance of Croxteth to the British Empire during the first half of the 19th Century; restoring pride in their area and heritage.
Osbert Cecil Molyneux, 6th Earl of Sefton who’s ancestral home was Croxteth Hall had considerable influence in Great Brittan. The 6th Earl was “Master Of The Horse” at his friend King George V’s coronation. Osbert created Croxteth as one of the first suburbs of Liverpool, recruiting hundreds of families to live in rural Croxteth – employing them to work his land and serve in his house. The onset of World War I saw women tilling the land while droves of the Croxteth male population were killed as part of the 9th Kings Regiment Battalion in France.
Hundreds of the women and children left behind, together with those men who did return from France, many suffering from “shell shock”, then died in the 1918 influencer epidemic. The Molyneux family themselves suffered great personal tragedy during this time with their second son Midshipman Cecil Richard Molyneux killed in action in 1916 and their daughter Lady Evelyn dyeing a year later at the age of 14.
The writing, devising and rehearsal process saw the young people working with professional writers and directors to dramatically depict the researched historical events and figures.
Performing in the expertly preserved and restored Edwardian rooms and gardens of Croxteth Hall, our thirty strong cast re-enacted the stories of the Molyneux family, their servants and those who worked their land during 1914 – 1918.