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Powerhouse of six North West culture, arts, business and tourism leaders join board of trustees at charity behind Shakespeare North Playhouse

Powerhouse of six North West culture, arts, business and tourism leaders join board of trustees at charity behind Shakespeare North Playhouse

by Culture Liverpool

Six of the most respected leaders in arts, culture, business, tourism and media have been appointed trustees of the charity behind the new Shakespeare North Playhouse set to open this summer in Knowsley.

ACC Liverpool managing director Faye Dyer, creative consultant and inclusion champion Saphena Aziz of charity Curious Minds, and digital visionary Jon Corner, have joined the board of the Shakespeare North Trust.

Alongside them are arts regeneration guru Peter Mearns who is also chair at Liverpool Bluecoat and Chester Storyhouse, former Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray MBE, and Sheena Wrigley, venue director at The Factory – Manchester International Festival.

The new appointments come as the new £38m Shakespeare North Playhouse, home to the only 17th-century ‘Cockpit” theatre outside London, is set to open its doors with a weekend of festivities on July 15-17.

Highlights of a spectacular opening programme at the stunning new venue, anticipated to attract over 140,000 visitors a year to the region, include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Christmas Carol, and ‘Evenings with’ Johnny Vegas, and Jimmy McGovern, with tickets set to go on general sale on May 4.

Shakespeare North Trust is chaired by business leader Max Steinberg CBE and former Liverpool Vision boss and chair, whose recent accolades include the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award presented at the 2022 Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.

The new appointments complete a board now of 15 trustees, who together will support the vision for Shakespeare North Playhouse, as a catalyst for economic regeneration, community engagement, education and developing a new generation talent.

Chair of trustees at the Shakespeare North Trust, Max Steinberg CBE, said:

“We are delighted to welcome our six new trustees, each one of them a leader and visionary in their field. Collectively they bring a vast amount of experience and expertise to support our vision.

“Their commitment to Shakespeare North Playhouse is a resounding endorsement of the venue’s power to help regenerate the regional economy, engage communities, and transform lives through the arts.”

Chief executive at Shakespeare North Playhouse, Melanie Lewis, said:

 We are privileged to have such incredible leaders on the board. Their expertise in business, culture, tourism and the arts will help take the vision for Shakespeare North Playhouse to the next level.”

The six new trustees join the existing board made up of Max Steinberg, Chris Brown, Coral Cameron, Mike Harden, Leann Hearn, Ian McCarthy, Sue Platt, Julie Sanders, and Nicola Winn.

Shakespeare North Playhouse is inspired by Prescot’s historic connections to William Shakespeare and a love of storytelling. In addition to providing a world class attraction, its mission is to become an exciting new destination that the Prescot community can proudly call their own.

Housed inside a modern new energy efficient building, the venue is home to the only traditional timber-built Cockpit style theatre outside London. It also offers a fully accessible outdoor performance garden funded by the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation, exhibition gallery, 60-seater studio theatre, learning centre, exhibition and events spaces, and a café and bar with outdoor piazza.

Shakespeare North Playhouse will open its doors to the public with a joyful weekend of free festivities, from July 15-17.

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