Our Vision

Shakespeare’s plays are Great Britain’s priceless national legacy. The time is long overdue that is achievements should live on and be celebrated in the North as well as the South. Shakespeare North provides a perfect and unique opportunity for a permanent home which will undoubtedly draw people to the area, not only form the United Kingdom but from all over the world, and become the crowning glory of the North of England.

Vanessa Redgrave Patron

Shakespeare North wants to celebrate the Elizabethan heritage of Knowsley near Liverpool and aims to bring Shakespearean theatre back to the area that has an important and often neglected place in the history of Elizabethan drama. The support and patronage of the Earls of Derby at Knowsley Hall played a notable part in the development of Shakespearean drama. Lord Strange’s Men, under the patronage of Ferdinando Stanley (who became the fifth Earl of Derby), later formed part of Shakespeare’s own company at the Globe. So, Strange’s Men, who had performed at their home base in Knowsley, were important to the world in which  Shakespeare became  the world’s greatest playwright. The Prescot and Knowsley story is the prequel to the story of Shakespeare in London.

Shakespeare North aims to make Knowsley once again a place where actors, writers, artists, students and young people will be able to study and practise the plays of Shakespeare. A place which will attract scholars, students and visitors from all over the world. To achieve this vision Shakespeare North has bold ambitions. It will build again The Playhouse in Prescot where, over four hundred years ago, as the only purpose-built playhouse outside London, Elizabethan drama was enjoyed by the people of the region.

The Playhouse will be the core of a new International College, the first of its kind focusing upon Shakespearean performance practice. Students from across the globe will enjoy the privilege of studying and performing his work in the very place where Shakespeare’s company practised their craft.

Shakespeare North is supported by leading figures from the theatre, politics, business and academia. From Government to regional authorities, from leading industrial figures to luminaries from the world of entertainment, it brings together the expertise of distinguished figures from across the spectrum of British life.



ShakespeareNorthOur Vision