Theatre Crane Towers 190ft above Prescot

By on Friday, January 31, 2020

A massive crane will alter the Prescot skyline for more than a year to come.

The structure will stand on the Shakespeare North construction site for an estimated 65 weeks in total, lifting weights of up to 10 tons at a time as the theatre is built.

At 190-feet tall, it dwarfs the nearby tower of Prescot Parish Church – standing at about 150ft – historically the pinnacle of the town’s skyline and the highest point above sea-level in Merseyside.

The crane bears the image of William Shakespeare and the words ‘TO BE’ – half of the famous quote ‘To be or not to be,’ spoken by Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play of the same name.

The multi-million-pound arts and education complex is due to open in 2022, boasting education facilities, performance spaces and a central 350-seat period playhouse, based on cockpit theatre designs from Jacobean architect Inigo Jones.

The ambitious project commemorates Britain’s first purpose-built theatre, the Prescot Playhouse, which stood near the east end of Eccleston Street in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Earl of Derby, whose Knowsley estate remains in Prescot to this day, was among the Bard’s rich patrons.

Shakespeare North has received support from arts professionals across the world, including the actor Dame Judi Dench, who promoted the project in parliament earlier this month.

Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said the playhouse will “offer so many opportunities to the area – new jobs, more visitors and a fantastic resource for local schools.”

Video: Crane Erected on Shakespeare North Site

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