Mon 27 Mar, 2023

The 23rd of April marks the birthday of the world’s most revered and famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Struggling to fit 457 birthday candles on a cake, Shakespeare North Playhouse has instead opted to celebrate the occasion with an utterly Shakespearean weekend of productions and workshops across the venue.

Creative Director of Shakespeare North Playhouse, Laura Collier, comments ‘Shakespeare’s work is at the very heart of everything we do at Shakespeare North Playhouse. His birthday gives us the opportunity to pay reverence to his enduring legacy through a carefully collated selection of workshops and events that celebrate the historical links between Shakespeare and Prescot, and dive into the work that continues to inspire and ignite passion across the globe. We’re so excited that one of our associate artists Ben Crystal will be joining us for these celebrations and lead the Lights On/ Lights Off project. His rich and varied experience with Shakespearean texts will no doubt produce an exciting and interesting selection of shows that we can’t wait to showcase over this weekend.’


Associate artist of Shakespeare North Playhouse, Ben Crystal will lead Lights on/ Lights off’ (Sat 22nd – Sun 23rd April) a project that gathers an ensemble of actors from the Liverpool City Region to develop an Elizabethan-style ‘quick raise’ of a scene from 36 different Shakespeare plays. With 9 different scenes in every show, watch all 4 shows to glimpse all the plays – 2 will be performed by candlelight, 2 by ‘daylight’! The shows will take place across the weekend inside the Cockpit Theatre, and members of the public will be welcome to freely watch open rehearsals there too. Ben is an actor, author, producer, and explorer of original practices in Shakespeare rehearsal and production. Ben has worked closely with Shakespeare North Playhouse and is a consultant creative producer for Shakespeare companies around the world.


Shakespeare North will also host a range of exciting workshops. ‘Shakespeare: Environmental Activist Workshop’ (22nd April) is a creative family session exploring the wonders of nature in Shakespeare’s world, where attendees can make their own mono-print celebrating our amazing planet. ‘Shakespearean Insult Workshop’ (23rd April) led my resident Spoken Word artist Charlie Staunton invites guests to  celebrate the Bard’s birthday by learning how to insult each other in true Shakespearean style. Learn some of the best insults from Shakespeare’s plays and characters and learn how to quickly create your own modern versions!


Visitors are invited to explore the theatre through ‘Shakespeare North Playhouse: A Guided Tour’ where visitors have the opportunity to explore 2023’s ‘Theatre Building of the Year’ (The Stage Awards) via a deep dive tour through the beautiful venue, whilst discovering the rich heritage of Prescot’s history and the story of the Bard’s links to the area.