Prescot Elizabethan Theatre Mural Revealed
A piece of art the size of a two-storey building was unveiled in Prescot town centre last Saturday (19 July).
The mural, which takes up the entire side wall of 45 Eccleston Street, at the junction of Leyland Street, depicts an Elizabethan cockpit theatre.
It pays homage to the town’s cultural past, with illustrations of some of the historic characters connected to Prescot, including William Shakespeare, stage actor John Kemble, and artist and poet Edward Lear.
A similar theatre would once have stood at the east end of Eccleston Street, where the flat iron building is today.
At the turn of the 17th century, the Prescot Playhouse would likely have served the gentry visiting Lord Derby at Knowsley Hall, and it was the first free-standing theatre outside of London.
The mural was designed and installed by Manchester-based Euro Visual Media.
The £16,000 project was an initiative of the Prescot Town Team, led by local business owner Richard Sutton.
“I am sure you will agree that the artwork now provides a fantastic backdrop for the range of performances we will be hosting over the coming months,” he said.
In a press statement, he added that the artwork “not only recognises the town’s heritage, but also creates a real talking point for visitors.”
The newly paved area around the mural is being increasingly used for live outdoor music and entertainment. Liverpool indie band The Ambition played at Saturday’s grand unveiling.
Funding for the artwork came through the High Street Innovation Fund, a national government fund administered through local councils.
Knowsley Council accepted Prescot Town Team’s bid for the grant because it aligned with their own strategy for revitalising the town centre.
The project is part of a wider drive to regenerate Prescot, specifically by capitalising on its heritage and history.
Knowsley Council and their partners have financed the Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative, which provides over £3 million to restore and repair historic buildings and shopfronts in the town centre conservation area.
Meanwhile, the independent Shakespeare North Trust still plans to rebuild the Elizabethan cockpit theatre alongside a ‘university’ in the town.
Below: Members of Prescot Town Team with Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce (2nd from right), who officially unveiled the mural.