COVID 19 update: by rigorously observing social distancing guidance, construction work on The Shakespeare North Playhouse has continued throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. The project is progressing well and is on target to open to the public in 2022.



Knowsley’s historic connection to William Shakespeare, through the support he received from the Earls of Derby, sets the scene for the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot.

The undeniably enchanting connections between Knowsley, Shakespeare and Elizabethan theatre provide an appealing historical connection to what will be a truly modern cultural and educational asset for the north of England.

At its core is a 350-seat theatre, modelled on the cockpit-in-court design popular during the Elizabethan era. Alongside the theatre will be an outdoor performance garden, exhibition and visitor centre and educational facilities.

The Playhouse will complete the UK’s Shakespearean triangle – London – Stratford-upon-Avon – Prescot – the project will harness the inexhaustible appeal of Shakespeare and his work, whilst providing an inclusive and high quality cultural, performance and educational facility.

This is a unique and distinctive project with the potential to transform the fortunes of a somewhat sleepy former market town and create a positive ripple effect that will stretch way beyond the immediate locality.

The Shakespeare North Playhouse will have the power to attract visitors from across the globe and present remarkable cultural programmes to new audiences and generations. It will also be a major driver for regeneration as well as broadening horizons and opportunities for local communities.



The Shakespeare North Playhouse vision has been applauded by academics throughout the UK and the idea has been endorsed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

There are strong links with the Shakespeare Schools Festival and the Playhouse, which is set to be the northern base for the festival, presenting performances from the Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and further afield.

A large proportion of the essential funding required for the building itself has been secured through investment from central government, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Knowsley Council.

To fully realise the established vision of the project there is still a fundraising target to be achieved. There are opportunities for individuals and organisations to get involved and to pledge their support.

Why not join us on the journey and enjoy a close association with the Shakespeare North Playhouse in the build up to the opening and way beyond.



Creative duo reunite for the Shakespeare North Playhouse

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Creative Director announced for the Shakespeare North Playhouse

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Lady Anne Dodd in exclusive interview with BBC’s The One Show

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We cannot wait for you to see the Shakespeare North Playhouse when it is ready, but for now – here is a taste of what is to come.


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