December 31st 2016
I don’t suppose anyone in our country has failed to note that this has been a Shakespeare Anniversary year and that the anniversary of his death four hundred years ago has sent ripples across the world. Why? Because he is the greatest exponent of the English Language and our language, thanks to the internet, has become a world language.
I have been privileged to speak Shakespeare’s poetry for most of my life, words that describe courage , hope, grief, sorrow and despair and deepen our understanding of life.
This year I have celebrated Shakespeare’s life with the Royal Shakespeare Company and HRH Prince Charles at Stratford…..but amid all the celebrations one thing has pleased me above all and that is the permission granted in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley on Merseyside for the erection of The Shakespeare North Playhouse.
What a wonderful celebratory gesture it is that we are building a Shakespearean theatre for the North. Shakespeare as our national poet belongs to everyone. This is particularly exciting for me as my husband Michael was a Liverpudlian and he and all our family have loved this city and this part of England.
The Shakespeare North project is important to me because I believe that great Shakespearean performances can change lives and because I want to help offer hope, vision and an enhanced educational experience to the children of Knowsley and Liverpool. From 2020 everyone in Britain should be able to follow a Shakespeare journey from London to Stratford and then to Knowsley, but only if you join me in supporting this dream.
I have become a Patron of Shakespeare North and have donated the set of the film Shakespeare in Love to Shakespeare North . As this special year draws to a close and a new one begins, the Trustees of Shakespeare North invite you too to support this wonderful project.
I ask you to give whatever you can in the knowledge that 400 years from now the performances you have helped to happen will still be performed in Knowsley. This will be your legacy.
Dame Judi Dench