Shakespeare North Plan Theatre in Prescot
A group of academics and theatre professionals are pressing on with plans to build a theatre and college in Prescot.
The Shakespeare North Trust first mooted the idea in 2007, but the project was put on the back burner after a bid for £20 million in National Lottery funding fell through.
The charity still wants to build in the historic Lancashire town, however, suggesting Prescot could become the third part of a “Shakespearean triangle” with London and Stratford-upon-Avon, the town of the playwright’s birth.
In the Elizabethan era, William Shakespeare was a friend of the local Earl of Derby, even naming characters in his plays after the Stanley family. He may also have visited Knowsley Hall.
Built in 1593, the Prescot Playhouse was the first free-standing theatre outside London. The cockpit-style building, similar to the famous Globe Theatre, stood at the east end of Eccleston Street, where the flat iron building is now.
Professor Kathy Dacre said the emphasis of the project was on “creating a prestigious educational centre which will attract scholars, students and visitors from all over the world, as well as providing an important cultural and social facility for Prescot and its neighbours.
“Encompassing a theatre, built to original period designs, we’re aiming to create a venue with unique and flexible spaces to meet, learn, relax and be entertained.”
Patrons of the charity include actors Clive Owen, Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Helen Mirrren.
See the Theatre Plans for Yourself
Shakespeare North are holding an open evening on Thursday 4 December at Prescot Parish Church, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.
Visitors can see the plans for themselves, ask questions of trustees, and show their support for the initiative. Presentations take place at 5.00pm and 6.00pm.
For more information, visit shakespearenorth.org.