38m-shakespeare-playhouse-to-open-in-an-unexpected-location
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The inspiration for the theatre comes from an understandable source. In the 1590s, Prescot boasted the only purpose-built indoor playhouse, hosting performances made possible by the Earl of Derby, resident at Knowsley Hall. Players brought with them new shows from a popular playwright of the day (Shakespeare), and were grateful for the Earl’s support.

Designed by architect Dr Nick Helm, the playhouse is expected to cost around £38 million. Named ‘the North Playhouse’, its design is based on the ‘cockpit-at-court’ theatre built for James I, 400 years ago (although that was erected in St James’s Park, as opposed to a Liverpool suburb). 

The North Playhouse

Courtesy of Shakespeare North Playhouse

According to National Statistics, Knowsley is the second most deprived borough in England. The theatre’s erection is presumably a bid to turn the area into a tourist attraction. Developers are hoping it will bring up to £5.3million into the local economy each year. The theatre’s website reads: ‘a brand new theatre for the North, with bags of history and loads of ambition.’

The North Playhouse

Courtesy of Shakespeare North Playhouse