New heights at Shakespeare North project

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Prescot’s Shakespeare North Playhouse Will Include Over 350-Seat Venue Based On 17th Century Designs. Pic © Sol Murphy JMU Journalism

Work on Prescot’s Shakespeare North Playhouse is back on track after delays earlier this year, with the arrival of a 58-metre-tall crane dominating the Prescot skyline.

The arrival of the crane signals the beginning of construction following the finalisation of groundwork conducted by Kier, who arrived on the site in October 2018.

The near £30m and 350-seat Jacobean-style theatre’s layout will be based on the original 1629 ‘Cockpit-in-Court’ design made by architect Inigo Jones, and is expected to be completed in 2022, which coincides with Knowsley’s borough of culture year.

Councillor Thomas Large for Prescot Town Council has been involved with the production of the theatre since as early as 2016. He told JMU Journalism: “It’s very exciting, and I am very, very excited.

“The arrival of the 190ft crane on the site is just the start of the build project to bring this theatre to life.

YouTube: Sol Murphy

“I’m very much looking forward to watching the building process and finally seeing it all come together. One of the guys on the site told me the other day within a year from now you’ll be able to see it, when the wooden structure that is being built from down south will be brought up.”

The Green Party councillor has encouraged members of the community to contribute creations and embroidery as additions to the theatre’s gallery space. He promises stalls at the town’s future community events where people can visit and find out how to get involved.

Prescot will join both theatres in London and Stratford-upon-Avon to complete the Shakespearean triangle, with hopes it will be a major attraction for visitors alongside further plans to regenerate the town centre.

About Sol Murphy, JMU Journalism