Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions, to make your experience with us at Shakespeare North Playhouse as simple as possible. Please find information and links to relevant pages below.


Why is Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot?

In the 1590’s, a remarkable theatre stood in the town of Prescot. The playhouse hosted performances made possible by the Earl of Derby, resident at Knowsley Hall. It is thought that it was the only purpose-built indoor playhouse outside of London.

Players brought with them new shows from a popular playwright of the day, William Shakespeare, and were grateful for the Earl’s support. This is the inspiration for Shakespeare North Playhouse. Which is a Shakespearean era playhouse, based on the Cockpit-in-court theatre 1630 and earlier designs by the celebrated architect Inigo Jones.

Find more information about Prescot’s links to Shakespeare and why we are so steeped in history as an organisation, by coming along to one of our Guided Tours. You can find information on tickets, here.

Can I see the Cockpit Theatre to see the seats?

Absolutely. We have a Virtual Reality version of the space, to make it easier to imagine yourself in the space and so you can book your seats in confidence knowing you have seen roughly (or exactly!) where you’ll be sitting.

To see a Virtual Reality version of the Cockpit Theatre, take a look here. Please note: this is configured to in-the-round performances.

Can I see more visual information about the venue?

To see a Visual Story of the venue, take a look here. This gives you a walk through of the building and what to expect when you arrive. You can also download this under the ‘Helpful Documents’ section below.

Whenever you’d like to pop in and look around during a quiet time, we’d be more than happy to show you around and talk about any particular access needs you may have. Please contact us by email [email protected] or call us on 0151 433 7156.

Seats: Do they have backs? Can I bring a pillow?

We have a range of seats throughout our three performance spaces, some have backs on them and some are benches which you are more than welcome to bring your own pillows or support for. If you have access requirements, or simply would rather a specific type of seat, you can see the details of each performance space in the seating plan when booking a ticket.

Do you have Access Performances?

We aim to offer as many accessible options as possible and include regular British Sign Language interpreted, Captioned, Audio Described with Touch Tours, and Relaxed Performances in our programme. You can get more details on each of the access performances we offer, here.

What other performance spaces are there?

We’re proud to be able to play host to three incredible performance spaces, each with their own special personality and wonderfully intimate nature. The Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden is a wonderful outdoor performance space, which hosts shows in the summer months. You can find more specific information on the Sir Kenn Dodd Performance Garden, here. With all the upcoming shows found, here.

The Studio is a wonderful performance space that is ideal for more intimate shows, and stages a wonderful array of bold theatre and innovative new writing. You can find everything you need to know about the studio, including upcoming shows, here.

And, of course, our wonderful Cockpit Theatre. The host of all our main productions, and incredible space to witness everything that Shakespeare North Playhouse is truly about. Find everything you need to know about the Cockpit Theatre, here.

How many seats are there in the Cockpit Theatre?

The Cockpit is a traditional 470 seat timber framed Shakespearean theatre. However when the theatre is in its end-on variation, its capacity is reduced to around 230.

Do you have a shop?

We do! We’ve put together a very special collection of gifts and collectables that will be available to buy in our gift shop. Our range of books, stationery, toys and homewares are inspired by Shakespeare, theatre, creativity and by this joyful place. And, when you buy something from our shop you are supporting us to bring the very best performances and activities to our community – so thank you. You can also browse our gift shop online here.

Do you have a café?

Relax, grab a drink and a bite to eat and watch the world go by. Our café will serve a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks, light lunches and pre-theatre bites. Sitting right at the heart of our contemporary building, it’s the perfect spot to meet and watch the world go by. And, you can grab pre-theatre or interval drinks at one of our two bars. Cheers!

Learning and Engagement

Shakespeare North Playhouse host a range of educationally engaging sessions and workshops, alongside a variety of different regular events. These include spoken word evenings, tours, and young creative writing sessions! All of these on our what’s on page, here.

You can find more information about how to create & participate with the Learning and Engagement Team, here.

Do you have any free events?

We sure do. We offer regular family activities, community sessions and events here at Shakespeare North Playhouse, inviting our communities to share in the joy of our theatre through fun, practical and informative sessions. Find more information about all of our free community events, here.

Can I get a refund?

Tickets and vouchers cannot be exchanged or money refunded. Exceptional circumstances will be considered but any requests must be received a minimum of 48 hours prior to the event.

You can, however, protect your tickets which allows you to claim a refund anytime up to the event in the event of Accident, injury, or illness including COVID-19, Severe weather preventing travel, Travel delays due to breakdown or public transport breakdowns or strikes.

You can add Ticket Protection onto your order when you first make a purchase. This will appear during the final checkout stages.

What happens if there’s a change to the event?

All information is correct at the time of purchase. Occasionally it is necessary to make changes to performances, for example a change of artist or the start time or date of an event. Shakespeare North Playhouse reserves the right to make these changes without prior notification or obligation to refund monies or exchange tickets. We will make every endeavour to contact customers in advance to advise of any changes.

What if there’s a cancellation?

Events cancelled by us are eligible for exchange and refund, and we will be in touch with you by email or phone with information specific to your booking. Please note that, where a customer opts to keep their tickets for a future date, this is considered as a firm booking and is subject to our usual terms and conditions above. Should you be moved to an alternative performance no response to our communications will be considered a firm booking and any request received within 48 hours of the new booking cannot be actioned.

What if a show is stopped part way through?

In the event a performance is cancelled part way through customers will be given the option of returning to see the production on an alternative day, or credit on their account. Shakespeare North Playhouse cannot be held responsible for any resulting costs you may incur for travel, accommodation or any other related goods or service or other compensation.

What about an ‘Act of God’?

Refunds or exchanges cannot be claimed if you are unable to attend an event due to factors outside of Shakespeare North Playhouse’s control, for example bad weather or travel strikes.

How can I purchase tickets, including paying for my group?

Online booking is available 24/7 on our website.

The phone booking line (0151 433 7156) is available between our opening times:

If there is no evening performance: Tue–Sat, 11am–6pm. Sun-Mon, closed.

If there is an evening performance: Tue–Sat, 11am–11:30pm. Sun-Mon, closed.

Our team are on hand to help you with your booking and answer any questions.

Visit the venue and speak to the team on the Front Desk between our opening times:

If there is no evening performance: Tue–Sat, 11am–6pm. Sun-Mon, closed.

If there is an evening performance: Tue–Sat, 11am–11:30pm. Sun-Mon, closed.

Can I reserve tickets?

Tickets can be reserved from the show’s on-sale to the date of the show. For larger groups, such as schools, the payment deadline for reservations is 4 weeks before the booked performance.

Which credit cards are accepted?

We accept every major credit and debit card, except for American Express. We also accept cash.

Once my order is confirmed, how will I receive my tickets?

You can choose to have your tickets delivered via email or can arrange to pick them up upon arrival at the theatre. We suggest that you opt for an e-ticket as this is our primary form of distribution.

Do you offer concession tickets?

Yes. A range of concessions, discounts and offers are available and varies from event to event.

Currently we offer a concession ticket price for students and those who are unemployed.

If you have purchased tickets at the student rate you will need to show your NUS card, along with your ticket, on arrival at the theatre.

Do you offer discount for families?

Yes, we offer 20% off when booking four tickets for adults and children e.g. 2 Adult and 2 Child tickets, 1 Adult and 3 Child tickets, or 3 Adult and 1 Child tickets (minimum of 1 adult and 1 child).

Discount will automatically be applied when you add these tickets into your basket.

Do you offer discounted tickets for groups?

Groups of 10+ receive a 10% discount on full price tickets.

Discount will automatically be applied when you add these tickets into your basket.

You can find information about group discounts here.

Do you offer discounted tickets for schools?

For performances in the Cockpit Theatre tickets are priced at £15 per person with one free for every 10 purchased.

For performances in the Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden or the Studio tickets are priced at the standard child and adult rate relative to each performance.

School group size is only limited by the number of seats available in the specific performance areas.

You can find information about school discounts here.

Are there age restrictions?

Some productions may not be suitable for children or may contain material which could cause offence. Specific age and content advisory information is included on the event webpage and our team will also be able to offer more information.

Can you accommodate those with additional needs?

We offer a warm welcome to everyone at Shakespeare North Playhouse. We’ve put lots of services in place to help make your visit enjoyable, comfortable and hopefully as easy as possible. You can find our access page, here.

What happens if I’m late?

Latecomers will be admitted at the discretion of the Duty Manager at a suitable point in the performance. Please note, some performances have a strict no latecomers policy and we are unable to refund ticket purchases if you miss the performance start time.

Is photography allowed?

Photography, video and sound recording of performances is strictly forbidden. Anyone found to be recording a performance may be asked to leave. The use of mobile phones is not permitted during performances.

What is dynamic pricing?

When a performance has the potential to sell out, we bring in dynamic pricing for some performances. It’s an approach that is similar to airline ticket prices which change according to demand. Some ticket prices on certain performances therefore may increase if the demand is enough, so it’s always best to book early for popular shows.

Do you have a mailing list?

Yes. Would you like to hear the latest news from Shakespeare North Playhouse including, Classic Shakespeare, Modern twists on Shakespeare and New Writing? Sign up to our mailing list here.

Can I see all your recent news stories?

Shakespeare North Playhouse are often included in national, as well as regional, press publications. You can find stories from our theatre in papers like The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Liverpool Echo. The BBC and ITV have also included our stories on regional news programmes. You Can find recent news stories on our website, here.

Where is best to see your events?

You can also find out about everything that’s going on at Shakespeare North by checking out our What’s on page, here.

Do you have somewhere for all your new events on sale?

Yes. You can find this on our ‘Newly On Sale’ page, here.

What are your membership or support options?

As a charity, there’s always the opportunity to support us further. By joining the Cockpit Circle, you will play a crucial part in our work and future, sparking joy both on and off our stages.

To say thank you for your support, we’ll make sure you enjoy priority booking as well as get the very best from your visits to the theatre through a range of great benefits* enhancing your relationship with us.

Have a look at our different levels of support, here.

All levels of membership include a benefit value detailing the actual cost of membership to the charity. These benefits can be purchased separately at the price stated below. Any amount given above this benefit value is given freely as a donation to support the Shakespeare North Trust (charity no. 1120641) and qualifies for Gift Aid.

To discuss purchasing benefits separately please email us on [email protected].

Or, if you would like to talk with our Head of Fundraising, Ana, please email [email protected]

Do you have nearby parking?

There are plenty of car parks in the local area, you can find more information on how to find us, as well as parking, here.

Prescot is easily reached by car and is just 2 minutes from the M57 and 10 minutes from the M62.

If you would like a dedicated car parking space, depending on which event you are joining us for, you can book ahead of time. If available, this will appear during the checkout stages when you are buying your tickets, you can also do this, here.

The nearest car parks are on Mill Street, use postcode L34 6HA for your sat nav. And Prescot Deanes House NCP Car Park Church Street, Prescot, L34 3LA.

Alternative long stay parking is on Cyprus Street, use postcode L34 5RY for your sat nav (10 minutes walk). Accessible spaces are available in both of these public car parks.

Alternatively, there are a limited number of accessible parking spaces near the venue, use the postcode L34 3AB for your Sat Nav, and follow the signs for Blue Badge parking.

There are electric car charging points at Cables Shopping Park, L34 5NQ, Tesco Extra, L34 5NQ & Cyprus Street Car Park, L34 5RY.

Can I hire the venue for multiple uses?

Yes! We’d love to welcome you to Shakespeare North Playhouse. Whether it’s for a meeting, networking event, creative session, or something you’ve always wanted to do. You name the space and the date – we’ll get to work to make sure it’s the best experience for you and those invited guests.

Find more information about the different spaces, as well as prices, here. You can also download the prices under the ‘Helpful Documents’ section below.

Do you have any Associate Artists you work with?

Our Associate Artists are a key part of our ongoing mission to champion diverse voices and perspectives at Shakespeare North Playhouse.

Through working with and alongside these artists we will continue to celebrate the work of Shakespeare and the rich heritage of Prescot.

Find a full list of our Associate Artists, here.

How do I join the Shakespeare North Playhouse Team?

We have lots of opportunities to join us in a full-time, part-time or volunteer capacity. All opportunities will be added to our website when they become available. Make sure you check our website, here, to see if there’s something for you. We look forward to reading your application!

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