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6 reasons to book tickets to see The Book of Will at Shakespeare North Playhouse

9 months ago

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Lauren Gunderson’s ‘The Book of Will’ is on at Shakespeare North Playhouse until Saturday, November 11, with the tale of the bard’s First Folio.

Published in 1623, seven years after his death, the First Folio contained 36 of the bard’s plays, and without it we’d have lost around half of his dramatic work.

And while that might sound serious – and it is – the play is fast-paced and very, very funny.

It’s already receiving rave reviews from audiences at the Prescot theatre with people saying how touched they were by the story, and how the play is simply ‘brilliant’ and ‘amazing’, as well as ‘entertaining and educational’.

And if that’s not enough to have you hot-footing it to Shakespeare North Playhouse then, verily, these six reasons will!

It’s in the brilliant Shakespeare North Playhouse and the fabulous cockpit theatre

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Image credit – Andrew Brooks

An amazing experience in itself. The traditional 470-seat timber framed ‘cockpit’ Shakespearean theatre is the only one of its kind outside London and can be configured ‘in the round’ – as with The Book of Will – so the audience surrounds the actors and gets close to the performance. It’s the best, most authentic, and intimate way to enjoy the bard. You can have a drink in the bar beforehand or a bite to eat in the café – and Shakespeare North’s easy to get to, and just half an hour from Liverpool.

It’s a European premiere 

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Meg Terzza

This is an incredible production that will undoubtedly get to tour around the world but this is the first time anybody in the whole of Europe has been able to see it, let alone just the UK! Shakespeare has been dead for barely three years when a Hamlet rip-off hits a stage near the Globe Theatre, and his old acting troupe friends are furious. With no comprehensive collection already in existence, to save Will’s works and his legacy for us, they hatch a near-impossible plan to collect his words on paper, setting them off on a bonkers race against time through London.

Tickets start from just £3

Shakespeare North Playhouse

This is fantastic value for money, to be able to see such a much-praised production for less than the price of a pint or a glass of Pinot! There aren’t many theatre productions you can enjoy for just a few quid, so at a time when we’re all having to tighten our belts, this makes it accessible to everyone. It means we’re able to get to see a live stage performance in an amazing theatre, to have a laugh and learn, and be wonderfully entertained.

It’s about Shakespeare’s First Folio, and you can get up close and personal with the real thing if you visit!

Credit: Shakespeare North Playhouse

As part of the celebrations, a copy of the First Folio on loan from The British Library will be exhibited at Shakespeare North Playhouse as part of its Treasures on Tour programme and as part of Shakespeare North’s ‘Shakespeare’s First Folio: 400 Years On’ exhibition. It’s a huge coup for Shakespeare North as it’s one of only 50 that are still in existence in the UK! 

There’s never been a better time to watch the show, it’s the 400th anniversary of the First Folio this year!

Credit: Shakespeare North Playhouse

And that is cause for celebration, which has not been lost on Shakespeare North. There are talks, tours, workshops and more about the First Folio, showing what makes it so special and how it managed to preserve history. Check out the Shakespeare North Playhouse to find out all about the extra events happening – like the Decorative Lettering Family Workshop happening 3 November!

Simple but stunning set and costumes

Credit: Pamela Raith

The perfect period costumes place the audience in the heart of London in the 1600s so they’re immediately immersed in the mood and mayhem of the time. The set is simple with just tables, chairs and benches around which the action revolves, leaving clever lighting, an occasional planter, the fabulous script and 10 flawless actors to bring the story superbly to life. 

Book tickets to see The Book of Will at Shakespeare North Playhouse here.

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