Prescot’s Elizabethan Fayre is back for 2022 and this year it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before!
To celebrate Knowsley’s year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture, and to mark the fact that the Shakespeare North Playhouse will open in Prescot in July, the Fayre has been extended to two days, with a wider range of attractions and performances added to an exciting programme.
The Fayre will be funded through the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme Grant, which was awarded to the Prescot Cultural Consortium in 2020.
Taking place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, the FREE festival will celebrate the rich Elizabethan heritage of Prescot – which of course in Elizabethan times was the only place in the whole of the country, aside from London, to have a free-standing purpose-built theatre.
Prescot’s Elizabethan story is quite remarkable and the Fayre is already a popular highlight in Knowsley’s event calendar and this year it promises to deliver much more for visitors to enjoy.
The town will be a hub of activity with high-quality, outdoor dance and theatre performances, circus skills, heritage walks, birds of prey, face painting, craft workshops and more. Visitors will also be able to get involved with the creation of a unique miniature cardboard replica of Prescot town centre.
On Saturday the Fayre will celebrate all things regal with visitors making their own crowns, ruffs and hearts. Prescot will be graced with a visit from ‘Elizabeth I’ herself and many court jesters who will perform and impress the locals. There will be workshops, stalls, and opportunities to share stories with our ‘Story Catcher Crew.’
Sunday will bring high quality performances of dance, theatre, storytelling & more. With a contemporary twist, the Fayre will celebrate everything from the Elizabethan era right up to the present day. Local Primary Schools, dance groups, and artists will showcase their work and the weekend will close with a Street Party for all!
There will also be performances of a newly commissioned ‘Song for Prescot’ by Evelyn Community Primary and St. Mary’s & St. Paul’s C E Primary.
Laura Collier is the Creative Director and Programmer at Shakespeare North Playhouse and Chair of the Prescot Cultural Consortium, commented:
“This year is a very special one for Prescot and as part of this the Elizabethan Fayre will bigger and more ambitious than ever. We hope the event will commemorate and celebrate lots of the wonderful history that makes the town so special but will also provide a really fun and contemporary experience for visitors of all ages. For the first time, this will be a two-day event, welcoming local and national artists, with live performances, workshops, stalls and other attractions the weekend long Fayre will bring the whole town centre to life with lots of involvement from the community, businesses and more.”
“It’s a weekend not to be missed in Prescot!”
The Prescot Elizabethan Fayre will take place on:
Saturday 7 May 11am – 7pm and Sunday 8 May 11am-4pm along Eccleston Street and outside Prescot Parish Church
It is FREE to attend.
Prescot Cultural Consortium
Plans for the Elizabethan Fayre – which is a key highlight in Knowsley’s year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture – have been developed by the Prescot Cultural Consortium which is chaired by Shakespeare North Playhouse and representatives from Prescot Business Club, Knowsley Community Curators, Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts, Prescot Parish Church, Jan Williams Theatre School, Imaginarium Theatre, Prescot Museum, Knowsley Council and Act for Action. Producer, Claire Bigley, has led on the plans with the Cultural Consortium.
The Cultural Consortium was set up by Knowsley Council as part of the £3.1 million Prescot High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme, and the HSHAZ’s Cultural Programme, which is led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make the country’s high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
The enhanced Elizabethan Fayre is being funded via the HSHAZ Cultural Programme Local Grant under which Knowsley Council were awarded £80,000 in 2020, on behalf on the Prescot Cultural Consortium.
Borough of Culture
The Borough of Culture title was introduced by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region.
The Borough of Culture is part of the 1% for Culture initiative which commits at least 1% of the Liverpool City Region’s annual gain share (£300k) to cultural projects/activities. Established as an annual award rotating around the boroughs, the Borough of Culture helps to celebrate, amplify and strengthen the existing cultural offer, develop new ideas and initiatives that will underpin future development and legacy.
Liverpool City Region is the first Combined Authority to have control over culture in its devolution deal, utilising many of the region’s existing assets and talent to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities.
The Borough of Culture was first launched in St Helens in 2018, followed by Wirral 2019, Sefton 2020, Halton in 2021 and is currently held by Knowsley for 2022. The programme rotation will recommence in 2023 back in St Helens
Shakespeare North Playhouse
Shakespeare North Playhouse will open its doors in Summer 2022 bringing people together to participate in a unique programme of performance, activities and conversations, inspired by Shakespeare but relevant to all of us.
At its heart, a traditional 470 seat timber framed theatre, that will host a mix of vibrant new performances. Theatre, music comedy, workshops, events and activities will spill out into the exhibition gallery, Studio and Performance Garden, creating an accessible space full of joy and creativity, where everyone is welcome.
Inspired by Prescot’s historic connections to William Shakespeare and a real love of story-telling, Shakespeare North Playhouse will play a key role in the ongoing regeneration of Liverpool City Region; a place full of brilliant people with a story to tell.
Working together with audiences, artists and local communities the creative programme, learning opportunities and social and events spaces will help to open doors, invite debate and inspire a love of learning that will reach far beyond the walls of Shakespeare North Playhouse.
The opening season of events was announced in March 2022 with tickets going on sale to the public at the end of April.
Prescot High Street Heritage Action Zone
Prescot was selected as one of the 68 high streets to benefit from the High Street Heritage Action Zone project in 2020.
In Prescot, the £3.1 million heritage-led regeneration programme will see major investment from Knowsley Council and Historic England into a number of key projects. This includes the repair, restoration and conversion of the Grade II listed former Prescot Picture Palace cinema, the transformation of a Grade II Listed townhouse (formerly Prescot Museum) into a ‘makerspace’ for new and small businesses in creative, arts and digital sectors.
In addition, the funding will be used to provide grants to restore other historic buildings, transform disused land in the town centre and engage with the local community.