It’s been a tremendous first year for Shakespeare North Playhouse. Following its grand opening in July 2022, the Prescot-based world-class culture hub has brought together communities, delivered cultural goodness to the North and taken the theatre scene by storm. Since its launch just 12 months ago, the venue has been crowned ‘Theatre Building of the Year’ at the 2023 The Stage Awards and has welcomed over 100,000 visitors, with a notable 10% of these visitors never having set foot inside a theatre before.
To celebrate this huge milestone, Shakespeare North Playhouse is hosting an exciting programme of events to mark its first birthday. Alongside high-quality theatre shows, there will be tours of the venue and creative workshops.
In July, The Handlebards presented their high-octane production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ink and Curtain presented their take on some of the most reviled women of classic literature in The Red Queen & Other Monsters. And Liverpudlian rapper M!key Garland brought his debut one-man show, Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland? to The Studio earlier this month.
Throughout the summer (until 18 August), audiences can enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes on a Technical Guided Tour of the award-winning building. Led by members of the Shakespeare North Playhouse team, visitors will witness the inner workings of key areas, like the 17th-century style, timber-built ‘Cockpit’ theatre and the Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden, and the intricate systems that bring them to life.
Additionally, younger theatre-goers and their families, can enjoy Theatre Explorers, a super exciting tour around the venue with hunts, trails and interactive activities. And budding young creatives, aged 11+, can join the Young Writers Club – a twice-weekly summer writing club culminating in a showcase on 19 August. There are also Clay Money Box Making workshops taking place throughout August too.
Alongside the Shakespeare North Playhouse first birthday celebrations, further theatrical highlights of the Autumn/Winter Season include the Shakespeare North Playhouse and English Touring Theatre’s co-production of Macbeth (1 September – 23 September); the European premiere of The Book of Will by American playwright Lauren Gunderson (19 October – 11 November) and Sir Ken Dodd’s favourite tale, The Wind in the Willows, which is set to play over the festive period (24 November 2023 – 13 January 2024).