Story of England’s most famous hangman

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The fascinating story of England’s most famous hangman will be told in the city this winter.

Pierrepoint – The Hangman’s Tale is the Dukes theatre’s first co-production of 2013 and will be shown in the round from January 31 to February 23.

The Lancaster theatre is an appropriate venue for this unique perspective on capital punishment as between the late 18th and mid 19th centuries, the city’s crown court sentenced more people to hang than any other in England except the Old Bailey.

The play is set in 1957 as Albert Pierrepoint resigns after more than 25 years as the country’s official executioner.

He tells the chilling truth about a career in which he executed more than 400 men and women including Ruth Ellis, Lord Haw Haw, Derek Bentley, Timothy Evans and 202 war criminals.

When not carrying out his deadly trade at prisons nationwide, Pierrepoint was serving customers at the pubs he ran near Oldham and at Much Hoole near Preston. He later retired to Southport where he died in 1992, aged 87.

This strange double life is portrayed by Martin Oldfield.

Tickets priced between £5 and £16.50 can be booked at The Dukes box office on 01524 598500.