His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visits Shakespeare North Playhouse

Wed 17 May, 2023

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, visited Prescot yesterday to formally open Shakespeare North Playhouse.

The Duke was welcomed to the venue by Chief Executive, Melanie Lewis and Chair of the Shakespeare North Trust and playhouse Max Steinberg CBE DL.



He was taken on a tour of the venue where he additionally met with local MP Marie Rimmer; Knowsley Council Leader, Cllr Graham Morgan; Chief Executive, Mike Harden; the Mayor and Mayoress of Knowsley; the High Sherriff of Merseyside, Dr Ruth Hussey; Lord and Lady Derby and Lady Anne Dodd.



The Duke spoke to some of the people who have been instrumental in the creation of this new cultural venue including members of the construction team, architects and project managers. He also met key members of the Shakespeare North Playhouse team and some of the creative professionals involved in the opening programme. He also met with children from Alt Bridge School in the theatre’s learning centre.


In the buildings foyer His Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the visit and the building’s official opening.

Max Steinberg CBE DL, Chair of Shakespeare North Trust commented: “I was delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to officially open Shakespeare North Playhouse. It is testament to the importance of this facility in the UK’s cultural offering that we should benefit from a royal visit like this. And given The Duke’s own passion for theatre and the arts it was an honour to be able to tour the building with him and show him the fantastic spaces that we have created here.”
“I was also keen to highlight to The Duke the significant economic and regenerative impact that this venue is having for Knowsley and the many wider benefits it is bringing for local people.”

Melanie Lewis, Chief Executive of Shakespeare North Playhouse added: “It has been a pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness today. His Royal Highness shares our belief that arts and culture can be transformative to both place and people and so, it has been wonderful to introduce him to the team, share our achievements and our aspirations for Shakespeare North Playhouse.
His Royal Highness heard all about our bold and brave nature and how across the organisation we embody that Elizabethan flare for boundary pushing, making culture accessible to all. It was a joy to share just a few of our highlights including the work we do with young people so he could witness the immediate impact it has.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council added: “I am absolutely thrilled that His Royal Highness took the time to visit Knowsley today and tour our wonderful new cultural venue. This visit was a real boost for borough and another great opportunity to put Prescot on the map as an important cultural destination in the UK.”

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