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Thread: Prescot Playhouse Project

  1. #1

    Default Prescot Playhouse Project

    Not sure if anyone else has heard about this, or actually attended the meetings. But about 3 weeks ago there were 3 meetings held in Prescot about the possibility of building an Elizabethan Theatre here. A director from the RSC/Old Vic/BBC came and talked about what they want to do in Prescot, because it has links with Shakespeare and had the first theatre outside of London in the 1500's (I think). Anyway, they wanted to make a film including the towns people acting and helping to actually make it to encourage the lottery to fund it;

    Prescot Playhouse project needs you!

    You can help bring a stunning new community and visitor attraction to Knowsley by attending one of a series of fun consultation events in January.
    An exciting fact: Prescot was home to the only free-standing Elizabethan playhouse outside London and William Shakespeare almost certainly lived and worked in the area.

    To celebrate this, Knowsley Council and the Northern Shakespeare Trust and other partners are bidding for £20 million from the Big Lottery’s Living Landmarks Fund to develop a new community and visitor centre in the heart of Prescot.

    This exciting venue would include an Elizabethan theatre to commemorate the importance of Prescot’s history and also facilities that could include community spaces, exhibitions, spaces to view the museum collection and local archives, a café, education and theatre workshops and accommodation for a range of family-friendly activities including performances, cinema, workshops, events and special projects. Local people will have a real input into the development of the scheme and the final design.

    This competitive bid will only succeed with the support of local people, so please come along to the consultation sessions, have your say and show your support for this fabulous new facility for Knowsley. This is a national scheme and the Prescot Playhouse Project has been included in the national shortlist of 23 projects.

    It sounded amazing, education wise and for the city, it was wonderfully presented and the people who want to make it happen were genuinely interested in local ideas, but since then...nothing! It is early I suppose. But has anyone else here been to these meetings/know about this/involved? I'm interested to know how much local support it has.

    Last edited by kemble; 02-08-2007 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Guest PhilipG's Avatar


    Welcome to the forum, Kemble.
    Interesting name.

    I know the actor John Philip Kemble was born in Prescot, but don't think he acted there.
    I'm very interested to hear that Prescot had an Elizabethan theatre as it's news to me.
    Wikipedia (which is only as reliable as the entries which anybody can give it) says it was a cockpit style.
    Cockpits were indeed used as theatres, but does that make the one in Prescot "the only free-standing Elizabethan theatre outside London" (as has been said)?
    Liverpool for instance had a cockpit (Cockpit Street still exists) as did most other places.

    And Shakespeare having connections with Prescot?
    How? Why?
    Last edited by PhilipG; 02-08-2007 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #3


    Helllo, yes John Philip Kemble was born in my street (now called Kemble street, with no plaque or any sign he ever existed, tsk - a historian at the meeting told me there's a plaque in Switzerland I think, where he died, saying he was from Prescot). As far as I know he went away to school and then went to London to further his career, so no, he didn't act here.

    I'm absolutely rubbish, I can't remember the exact connections. But it's said in his life he spent some time in the North West, and seeing as Prescot was the only place outside of London with a Theatre, it's likely his plays were performed there, in a presentation they gave at the meeting they said he would have lived here while this was going on. I think evidence has been found but they didn't go too in depth...
    The architect told us about the theatre and where they think it used to be. Extremely interesting stuff, I hope they carry on with the project.
    Last edited by kemble; 02-08-2007 at 09:57 PM.

  4. #4

    Default more shakespeare links

    wasnt the first draft of Hamlet entitled "Hamlet Prince of Prescot", and when he came out with the famous line

    "To BICC or not to BICC, that is the question"

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