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Shakespeare North Playhouse confirms plans to open in summer 2022

The long-gestating venue is on its way

A new rendering of the Shakespeare North Playhouse
© KnowsleyCouncil

Details around the new Shakespeare North Playhouse (located near Liverpool) have been revealed as the venue prepares to welcome audiences next year.

A major landmark was reached recently when Knowsley Council's Cabinet confirmed the formal appointment of the Shakespeare North Trust as operator – essentially meaning the venue can start planning its artistic output rather than being exclusively a major construction project.

The Trust's chair Max Steinberg said today: "I am delighted to have reached yet another positive milestone for the project and that we can now focus squarely on the opening of The Playhouse and welcoming the public through the doors.

"I know that my fellow Trustees share my excitement and anticipation ahead of the opening. After many years in planning and construction, this will be a momentous occasion – not just for those directly involved but for the wider community of Knowsley and the Liverpool City Region.

"The Shakespeare North Playhouse is quite simply a once in a lifetime project and the Trust is both honoured and excited to be formally appointed as the operator for this transformative venture."

The Trust will have a 25-year lease on the building, and has also been set targets to engage with local companies and offer access to the local community. The next step will see the venue appoint a senior leadership team, including a chief executive.

A spokesperson for Knowsley Council commented: "With the opening of the Playhouse now only just over a year away, appointing an operator for the venue is a really important step forward. Although the Trust has been involved in the project throughout, as major funders, the Council needed to be assured that the Trust was capable, skilled, and prepared to oversee the operation of such a significant project.

"Over recent months, we have worked with Arts Council England to scrutinise the Trust's business plan and operating model and sought independent expert advice to assure us of their suitability as the operators. We can now look ahead to the opening of The Playhouse – something that has been a long-held vision for the Council and its partners."

Shakespeare North is set to present high profile Shakespearean drama, comedy, music, and many other genres of performance, with the space modelled on an Inigo Jones cockpit-in-court 17th century venue.

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