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New Shakespeare North Playhouse still set to open in 2022 with creative director announced

The venue's timeline hasn't been affected by Covid

A CGI rendering of the Shakespeare North Theatre
© Shakespeare North Trust

An update has been given on the new Shakespeare North Playhouse, which is set to be opened to the public in 2022.

Laura Collier (formerly Head of Studio at the National Theatre and senior producer at Battersea Arts Centre with other roles at Shakespeare's Globe and Leeds Playhouse), has been appointed creative director and programmer for the new space, which will be located in Prescot, Merseyside.

Collier said today: "The creation of Shakespeare North Playhouse at this time represents a vital statement about the role theatre can play in building and enabling the creativity of communities locally, nationally and internationally. And with its opening coming during 2022 when Knowsley will celebrate a year of culture and celebration I'm beyond excited to be part of the team that will set out the vision and strategy, working with the citizens of Prescot and creative partners from further afield. I look forward to the conversations, work and theatre that will emerge in the coming years."

The Shakespeare North Playhouse will be the only replica in the world of English architect Inigo Jones' indoor Jacobean Court Theatre. It will be built to designs drawn by Jones in 1629, with a 350-seat auditorium as well as an outdoor performance garden space and exhibition areas.

All seems to be progressing to plan – according to the Shakespeare North Trust, "By rigorously observing social distancing guidance, construction work on The Shakespeare North Playhouse has continued throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. The project is progressing well and is on target to open to the public in 2022."

The venue was initially announced back in 2016, with work progressing during that time.