Opening of Shakespeare North Playhouse

On Friday 15 July the Shakespeare North Playhouse opened to the public.

Across the entire weekend the playhouse welcomed more than 7300 people through the doors to explore the new space and all it has to offer.

The weekend got off to an incredible start with All the Joy That You Can Wish – a huge community parade and celebration outside the playhouse as part of Knowsley’s Borough of Culture celebrations. This event attracted more than 1500 local people. Alongside those cramming the streets outside the playhouse, the opening and events were seen by a further 6.6 million on local and national news.

After a thrilling start to the weekend, celebrations continued with 92 separate performances and events taking place and more than 1800 people joining the tours of the building. The playhouse team were supported by an army of volunteers who gave more than 200 hours of time over the opening weekend alone.

All The Joy That You Can wish

As part of Knowsley’s year as Borough of Culture, where ‘Every Town and Village Tells Their Story’, a team of local heroes created All The Joy That You Can Wish.

The ceremony celebrated both the opening of Shakespeare North Playhouse and the vibrant history and heritage of Prescot.

Prescot has a fascinating past and the town’s historic connections to William Shakespeare and his love of storytelling inspired the performance.

The following community members took part:

Act For Action, Al’s Activity and Respite Centre, Bryer Road Coffee Group, Imaginarium Theatre, KIER, The Lee Cooper Foundation, Merseyside Black Lives Matter Alliance, Prescot Cables F.C, SHARe Knowsley – Support & Help for Asylum seekers and Refugee, VIBE Knowsley and Shakespeare North Community Curators.

All The Joy That You Can Wish was produced and directed by Slung Low as part of Knowsley’s year as Liverpool City Region Brough of Culture.

It was supported by Arts Council England and Prescot Hight Street Heritage Action Zone and The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.