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“Shall I compare thee to a Summer at Shakespeare North Playhouse?”
Shakespeare North Playhouse are thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of performances, workshops and events for the upcoming 2023 Summer Season.
This summer promises to be a highlight of the year at Shakespeare North Playhouse, with a jam-packed selection of productions and activities that’ll keep you entertained for the whole season!
This season will see the Metro Mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram taking to The Cockpit Theatre Stage, an interview with footballing legend Peter Reid, a musical in The Studio about ADHD, and a host of incredible shows and events including Life Drawing and Ceramic workshops.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, share their passion for music and delve into their personal musical influences for ‘Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram’s Northwest Mixtape’ (1st July). Accompanied by a line-up of live acts chosen by the Metro Mayors themselves.
From iconic classics to the latest sounds that have caught their ears, Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham will take you on a journey through their favourite tracks, highlighting the diverse musical landscape that has shaped their experiences.
Returning to Shakespeare North after interviewing Steve Coogan, ‘An Evening with Lemn Sissay’ (8th July) will see the poet playwright, memoirist performer and broadcaster, sitting down to talk about his incredible career and life.
‘An Audience with Peter Reid’ (21st July) will see the football legend, manager, pundit and former midfielder sit down to discuss his incredible career. Reid is one of England’s most talented midfielders, having played a pivotal role in securing two Football League titles, during his time at Everton.
‘Barefaced Comedy’ (23rd July) will be back for a laugh-out-loud evening of stand up, hosted by comedian Freddy Quinne. Forget about what’s going on outside and head to Shakespeare North for a hilarious evening in the Cockpit theatre, featuring headline act, Ray Bradshaw in addition to Rob Rouse and Hayley Ellis.
Unseemly Women return with their all-female & non-binary production ‘LEAR’ (21st-24th June). LEAR brings Unseemly Women’s twist on the iconic aging monarch, who, before dividing up their vast kingdom between their daughters, asks them to prove which loves them best.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s Olivier Award-nominated family show ‘Midsummer Mechanicals’ (15th- 18th July) comes to Shakespeare North Playhouse! Enjoy this ‘fantastically funny’ ★★★★★ (Broadway World) family show, based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
One midsummer’s night, a band of amateur actors led by Nick Bottom staged their first ever play. It was so bold, so brilliant and so chaotic that it went down in theatre history. A Shakespeare’s Globe production, co-produced with Splendid Productions, Midsummer Mechanicals is recommended for everyone from age 5 to 105.
The HandleBards return to Shakespeare North Playhouse for a hilarious, high-octane production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (27th-28th July). Four young lovers find themselves lost in a magical forest, where the Fairy King and Queen are fighting for the possession of a changeling boy. A group of amateur actor’s head to the same forest to rehearse for a play. Humans and fairies collide and hilarity ensues.
Just catching the end of the Summer Season, English Touring Theatre, Northern Stage and Shakespeare North Playhouse present their co-production ‘Macbeth’ (1st-23rd September). Macbeth is a visceral, claustrophobic, and intoxicating show, which speaks to a world we find ourselves living in now, as we watch those who hold the highest responsibilities in our society brazenly use deceit and misinformation in their quest for power.
Soak up the sun and catch some shows with an incredible line-up of productions in our glorious performance garden this summer!
A Place For Us CIC presents ‘Saving Shakespeare: Murder, Mayhem & Magic’ (16th-18th June) a hilarious and educational show, with edited and accessible versions of scenes from The Bards most popular plays (Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) – a great introduction to Shakespeare for young people.
As part of the 19th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, Creative Director of Shakespeare North Playhouse, Laura Collier, and Chief Executive, Melanie Lewis will sit down for ‘In Conversation: Shakespeare North’ (24th June).
The Renaissance and the modern world clash like our heroes Katherina and Petruchio in the Imaginarium Young Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ (16th July).
440 Theatre present ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (19th July). Romeo & Juliet in 40 minutes, performed by only 4 actors in one evening! 440 Theatre are back with Shakespeare’s Greatest tragedy transformed into outrageous, fall-on-the-floor comedy.
Celebrating a renowned writer and one of England’s first abolitionists, ‘A Portrait of William Roscoe’ (26th- 27th August) will see the man come magically alive and out of his portrait to talk about his life and times using puppetry, physicality and traditional storytelling.
‘Unmasked’ (29th-30th August) uses hip hop, comedy, song, and theatrical monologues to explore questions around autistic authenticity and autistic enjoyment.
In The Studio, ‘Chopped Logic’ (21st June) explores the experiences of those most desperately affected by the pressures placed on the NHS during the pandemic. This shocking and poignant tale weaves together verbatim stories from the perspectives of patients, medical health care professionals and relatives.
‘Wild Time: A Theatrical Novel’ (24th June) is a punk prose retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the lovers and the haters, reimagining Shakespeare’s narratives of pleasure and power, told with humour, mythology, and erotic acrobatics on an astronomical scale.
Pushing the boundaries of Shakespearean performance, Brite Theater present ‘Richard III (A one person show)’ (29th June-1st July) a bold and engaging solo show. The fourth wall has been utterly obliterated, as the audience take on the roles of all the other characters at Richard’s party in this intimate, exciting, and moving production. Let Richard entertain you… but will you survive?
Worshipped opera singer… Renowned swordswoman… Flaming bisexual, ‘JULIE: The Musical’ (8th-9th July)is a brand new, original musical telling the life and adventures of historical LGBTQ+ icon Julie D’Aubigny. Featuring Live Music, Comedy, Tap Dancing Sword Fights, Twerking Nuns, Kazoo Choruses…and that’s just the first half. JULIE: The Musical celebrates this extraordinary life, queerness and carving a place for yourself in a world not built for you
‘ADHD The Musical: Can I have your attention please?’ (20th-22nd July) is a wonderful mix of facts, storytelling and some cracking original show tunes. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn and you won’t be afraid to fail baby! This new, exciting and heartfelt work explores the highs and lows of having the most common neuro developmental disorder worldwide. The show attempts to unpack feelings of shame and blame that occur when being neurodivergent in a world designed for the neurotypical brain.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the First Folio, Rubbish Shakespeare Company and Wing It Improv have teamed up to present ‘The Incomplete Works’ (21st-23rd July) a totally improvised Shakespeare play! Utilising clown, physical comedy, storytelling and live music, this spontaneous piece of family-friendly theatre is a ridiculously joyous, participatory event.
‘The Red Queen & Other Monsters’ (28th-30th July) showcases some of the most reviled women in classic literature – from infanticidal Medea to fratricidal Goneril – explain themselves or simply revel in their crimes. They’re ambitious, uncompromising and utterly sure of themselves.
Step into the captivating world of ‘Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland?’ (4th-5th August) as the unstoppable rapper takes the stage in his debut one-man show. Through a mesmerising blend of rap, verbatim, and heartfelt storytelling, Garland shares his personal journey of homelessness, challenging societal stereotypes and shedding light on the class divide in the UK.
Ceramicist Louise Waller will host a selection of ‘Clay Money Box Workshops’ (4th, 9th, 17th August) on how to craft your own clay money box. Shakespeare North Playhouse will fire them in a kiln which will be available to collect later in the summer.
‘Life Drawing at Shakespeare North Playhouse’ (19th August) each session will have at least one model to draw from life, and the sessions are suitable for beginners as well as more experienced artists.
As usual, Shakespeare North Playhouses poetry night’s ‘Itch’ and ‘Scratch’ will be running until the end of 2023.
‘Five Elements: A Hip Hop Youth Project’ (22nd June- 11th August) for 11-18 year olds is an exciting free project that covers MCing, DJing, Beatboxing, Breaking and Graffiti.
‘Story Spinning workshop & poetry machine’ (15th July) is a fun session guiding children on the creation of their very own story spinner.
‘Escape The Island’ (22nd July) Caught up in a tempest, you have been shipwrecked on an enchanted island. The wizard Prospero presents you with a series of cryptic clues to find your way.
‘Young Writer’s Club’ (25th July-17th August) is a club to inspire creative writing! Meeting twice each week the club will include fun activities to help develop writing scribbles to share in a showcase on Saturday 19th August between 11am and 1pm.
‘Technical Guided Tours’ (4th-25th July) will give those interested in the world of theatre technology the chance to explore behind the curtain of Shakespeare North Playhouse. For all the heritage buffs,
‘Shakespeare North: A Guided Tour’ (13th June-19th September) takes a deep dive into the history of Prescot and its links to the bard himself.
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