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Find out what’s happening at Shakespeare North Playhouse Theatre this Autumn

10 months ago

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This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio – and to celebrate Shakespeare North Playhouse has got a jam-packed Autumn line-up, filled with plays, workshops, and terrific talks and tours!

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 (which would have been as great a tragedy as the ones written by the man himself). You’ll be able to get up close and personal with the Folio itself, as it will be displayed in Shakespeare North Playhouse Theatre!

So prepare to soak up Shakespeare and salute the man who helped shape the English language: it’s going to be a busy season at the Prescot theatre…

The Book of Will 

The Book of Will - Shakespeare North - Theatre
Credit: Shakespeare North

As part of its European Premier Tour, Lauren Gunderson’s ‘The Book of Will’ will be staged at Shakespeare North Playhouse between Thursday, October 19 and Saturday, November 11, recounting the tale of the First Folio’s creation and those vital to achieving it. In the funny and fast-paced play, 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. To save Will’s works, they hatch a near-impossible plan to collect his words on paper, setting them off on a bonkers race against time through London. 

‘Shakespeare’s First Folio: 400 Years On’ exhibition

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Pamela Raith

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 one of only 50 that still exist in the UK and it’s available to see from Thursday, October 19 to Saturday, November 11.

Ink and Insights

Shakespeare North Playhouse

On Tuesday, October 24, Dr Stephen Lloyd, the Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, will guide people on a fascinating journey through the history of the First Folio, exploring the process of publishing and preservation …  and explaining fascinating links between Shakespeare, the Earls of Derby and Knowsley Hall!

First Folio

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Pamela Raith

Actor, author, creative producer and Associate Artist of Shakespeare North Playhouse, Ben Crystal, will take audiences on an exploration of the First Folio on Wednesday, November 1, celebrating what  makes it so special and how it managed to preserve history.

Also on November 1, The First Folio Family Portrait Workshop gives you the chance to sketch your own portrait, inspired by the iconic image of William Shakespeare on the famous tome.

The Decorative Lettering Family Workshop

Get everyone in the family involved and create a unique monoprint for the initials of your name, with patterns inspired by the ornaments featured in Shakespeare’s First Folio and the lettering on Shakespeare North’s piazza steps. On Friday, November 3.

Young Writers Club

Could you be the next Shakespeare? Join Shakespeare North’s Young Writers Club to find out. There are loads of different and inspiring activities in each session from Thursday, Sept 28 to Thursday, December 21 – and you can go to as many as you like.

Baby Bards

Chance to join the Learning & Engagement Team for early years story and language sessions for pre-school children aged 18 months to four. It’s an introduction to story, letters, and phonics through reading and fun activities, and it’s on from Tuesday, October 3 to Thursday, December 21.

Itch: Spoken Word Night

Taking place in the fab Café Bar, Itch offers an inclusive and welcoming community space for performers and audience members, so whether you’re a performer looking for an opportunity to do your thing – and if you are, get in touch – or you simply want to sit back, watch, and enjoy, this one’s for you. It’s normally on the second Tuesday of every month. 

Witchcraft Tour: Pendle to Prescot

This immersive tour delves into the infamous Pendle Witch Trials, uncovering the beliefs, fears, and prejudices that fuelled them, and at its heart is the remarkable story of a Merseyside woman who went from an ordinary life to facing the trials that tested her resilience. From Monday, October 23 to Friday, October 27.

To get tickets for all these events and more, visit the Shakespeare North Playhouse Theatre website here.

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