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Shakespeare North Playhouse announces more shows and workshops in 2023

1 year ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Shakespeare North Playhouse announces more shows and workshops in 2023

Shakespeare North Playhouse¬†has announced the second wave of incredible new theatre, comedy and workshops for 2023 including one of Shakespeare‚Äôs most revered tragedies, Macbeth, a co-production between Shakespeare North Playhouse, English Touring Theatre, Northern Stage and Th√©√Ętres de la Ville de Luxembourg.¬†

2023 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio publication, and Shakespeare North Playhouse aim to celebrate this through programming that pays homage to the First Folio and its historic significance.  

2023 also marks the first year Shakespeare’s Globe will visit Shakespeare North Playhouse with their production of Midsummer Mechanicals (15th-18th July) running for 6 performances with both schools and public performances.  

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Credit: Meg Terzza

Creative Director of Shakespeare North Playhouse, Laura Collier says:

“It has been an incredible first 6 months at Shakespeare North Playhouse and we‚Äôre so excited to announce the second half of our opening year. We can‚Äôt wait welcome our friends including English Touring Theatre, Shakespeare‚Äôs Globe and Headlong Theatre and to celebrate a year of Shakespeare North Playhouse this 2023!”¬†¬†

The Cockpit Theatre

English Touring Theatre¬†will open their intoxicating co-production of ‚ÄėMacbeth‚Äô¬†(1st– 23rd¬†September) at Shakespeare North Playhouse this September.¬†¬†¬†

Promising to be a ‚Äėvisceral and claustrophobic‚Äô show, ETT‚Äôs¬†Macbeth¬†will speak to a world that we find ourselves living in now, watching those who hold the highest responsibilities in our society, brazenly use deceit and misinformation in their quest for power.¬†¬†¬†

Shakespeare North

A struggling and divided nation, tearing itself apart. So, when the Macbeths see their chance at the crown, why shouldn’t they take it?  

But things don‚Äôt go according to plan. Dreams quickly turn to nightmares, humanity erodes, nature stirs. As society strives to make sense of the darkness that sits inside it, how long will it take for people to fight back against the endless cycle of violence and corruption?  

A visceral and contemporary new production that speaks to a world we find ourselves living in now, and asks why has Macbeth haunted our fears and nightmares for centuries and what lesson is this cautionary tale still urgently trying to communicate to us? 

Shakespeare North

In what will be a first,¬†Shakespeare‚Äôs Globe¬†will be taking their production ‚ÄėMidsummer Mechanicals‚Äô¬†(15th-18th¬†July) to Shakespeare North Playhouse. The production for families and young people is co-produced by Splendid Productions, directed by Lucy Cuthbertson (Co-Director of Education at Shakespeare’s Globe) and Kerry Frampton, and written by Kerry Frampton and Ben Hales. A hilarious follow-up to the play within-a-play from¬†A Midsummer Night‚Äôs Dream, Midsummer Mechanicals¬†follows Peter Quince‚Äôs acting troupe ‚Äď known as the Mechanicals ‚Äď as they attempt to recapture the success of their first hit Pyramus and Thisbe, a show so bold, brilliant and chaotic that it went down in theatre history.¬†¬†

A Play For The Living

Headlong and Barbican will join Shakespeare North Playhouse with their production ‚ÄėHeadlong- A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction‚Äô¬†(16th-20th¬†May). Written by Miranda Rose Hall, this darkly funny, life-affirming show is a bold experiment in eco theatre-making, co-produced by the Barbican and Headlong. Sharing learning from Europe, Katie Mitchell and Headlong present an innovative touring model, the first of its kind in the UK, which sees a play tour, while the people and materials do not.¬†¬†

Shakespeare in Love will be the first film to be shown at Shakespeare North Playhouse (17th February). Directed by John Madden and starring Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Dame Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love is a multi-award-winning romantic comedy released in 1998 which follows the Bard as he embarks on a passionate love affair that would inspire one of his greatest works.

Suffering from writer‚Äôs block, Shakespeare is in need of a muse. He soon finds inspiration in the form of a beautiful female aristocrat, but her daring determination to act in his play puts their already forbidden relationship on even more dangerous ground. 

Dame Judi Dench kindly donated wood from the film set to Shakespeare North Playhouse which has been repurposed into crafting the front desk and various other elements of the building.  

The Studio

In the Shakespeare North Playhouse Studio,¬†The Ink and Curtain Theatre Company¬†will perform their production of ‚ÄėThe Red Queen and other Monsters‚Äô¬†(28th-30th¬†July). Settle in and watch some of the most reviled women in classic literature ‚Äď from infanticidal Medea to fratricidal Goneril ‚Äď explain themselves or simply revel in their crimes. They‚Äôre ambitious, uncompromising and utterly sure of themselves.¬†

The Red Queen and Other Monsters

SHEWOLVES Productions¬†will perform their uplifting coming-of-age comedy for teenagers and anyone who has ever been a teen, ‚ÄėSHEWOLVES‚Äô, named one of The Stage‚Äôs Best Shows of the Year in 2022 (14th¬†May). Described as Somewhere between Booksmart, Little Miss Sunshine and Thelma & Louise, SHEWOLVES is an uplifting, funny and empowering play about forging friendships when you‚Äôre a bit weird, the power of hope and the underestimated smartness of teens.¬†

She Wolves

Rose Biggin & Keir Cooper¬†will bring their production ‚ÄėWILD TIME: A Theatrical Novel‚Äô¬†(24th¬†June). WILD TIME is a punk prose retelling of A Midsummer Night‚Äôs Dream for the lovers and the haters, reimagining Shakespeare‚Äôs narratives of pleasure and power, told with humour, mythology, and erotic acrobatics on an astronomical scale. In conversation with one of the most performed plays in theatre, the theatrical novel rewrites the plot and makes massive changes to story and characters in a very modern and accessible way, taking liberties with Greek gods and literary idols like nothing is sacred.¬†WILD TIME: A Theatrical Novel¬†was featured in The Guardian ‚ÄėHottest front-room seats‚Äô & Lyn Gardner‚Äôs Pick of the Week.¬†¬†

Wild Time

Sarah Allen Productions¬†will bring their show ‚ÄėLadyfriends (a period drama)‚Äô¬†(23rd-24th¬†March) a high-octane romp through love letters, third dates, and lesbian period dramas ‚Äď via the (probably) true stories of Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst. Rammed with live music and film, it digs up real-life queer history to ask the age-old question: ‚Äúare we dating, or are we just really good friends?‚Ä̬†

Ladyfriends (A Period Drama)

The studio will also host a double bill performance (4th¬†July)¬†Emily Parr¬†presents ‚ÄėNo Coward Soul‚Äô, a tragicomic one-woman show…containing 37 characters. Documenting one woman as she strives to survive along after a painfully amicable divorce. This will be followed by¬†Sam Freeman‚Äôs¬†‚ÄėEvery Time I Close My Eyes, All I See Is You‚Äô, A storytelling show about time passing, love, laughter and longing.¬†¬†

Mooncup Theatre¬†will perform their production ‚ÄėOff Your Bonnet‚Äô¬†(10th-11th¬†March). A new theatre piece that explores the themes of isolation, feminism and imagination through the parallel of our modern world and the world that the Bronte sisters inhabited. There will be laughs, there will be ghosts and there will be Kate Bush choreography, what more could you want?”¬†

Workshops and Tours

‚ÄėTheatre Explorers‚Äô¬†tours will be running, where families can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at our venue through an exciting interactive journey through the building.¬†¬†¬†

Relaxed ‚ÄėElizabethan Portrait Sketching Sessions‚Äô¬†will be taking place every Tuesday throughout February in Shakespeare North Playhouse‚Äôs caf√©, where visitors are invited to take part in a live session of sketching. ¬†

‚ÄėItch‚Äô Spoken word night will continue (14th February-11th April) for anyone who is looking to dip their toe into the world of spoken word. For established poets looking for more opportunities to perform, ‚ÄėScratch‚Äô will also be continuing on the last Tuesday of every month (28th February ‚Äď21st March) 

The ‚ÄėFive Elements‚Äô project reflects the five pillars of Hip Hop. Part Funded by Knowsley Council‚Äôs Youth Community Fund, and focusing on MCing, DJing, Breaking, Graffiti and Beatboxing, young people are invited to join specialist artists and performers for free to develop new skills and explore their creativity over regular fortnightly sessions from February until June. 

Shakespeare North

‚ÄėBaby Bards‚Äô¬†will continue (7th¬†‚Äď21st¬†March) where Shakespeare North Playhouse‚Äôs resident spoken word artist leads a story and language session for pre-school children aged 18 months to 4 years old. Introducing story, letters and phonics through readings and fun activities, your babies will be bards in no time.¬†

Join Shakespeare North Playhouse‚Äôs discussion group for¬†‚ÄėShared Reading‚Äô¬†in association with The Reader (9-24 February). Explore extracts from stories, plays and poetry, new and old where participants are invited to read, reflect and feel inspired together.¬†

Book tickets for all of these events and more on the Shakespeare North Playhouse website here.



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