TRAVEL GAZETTE – William Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford upon Avon will have a rival for fans of the British bard, with an ambitious plan to re-create a 16th century Globe theater near Liverpool.
Details of the proposed Shakespearean theater were debated Tuesday in the House of Commons, with politicians saying a growing number of theater stars are supporting the 25-million-U.S.-dollar plan.
The new playhouse will be built in the small town of Prescot, just a few kilometers from Liverpool.
Prescot was the site of the only freestanding purpose-built Elizabethan era playhouse outside of London during the 1590s.
It is even said Shakespeare himself spent some time in Prescot at the theater built by a close associate of the Earl of Derby, whose family lived at a nearby stately home, Knowsley Hall.
The Shakespeare North Trust is preparing to submit ambitious plans for the new theater and education center in Prescot which could transform the town into a world tourism attraction.
The theater would be built to the original 1629 plans by renowned architect Inigo Jones.
The Shakespeare North Trust says there is evidence some of Shakespeare’s earliest plays were first staged at the theater in Prescot with performances almost certainly supervised personally by Shakespeare.
These plays included Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Local council leader Andy Moorhead said: “This new playhouse could be the beginning of another exciting chapter in our local history.”
The then Earl of Derby, William Stanley, was a major theatrical patron and the most important Elizabethan-era magnate of the day in northern England.
The original Prescot playhouse was built on the edge of his vast deer park. Edward Stanley, the current Earl of Derby, is president of trust spearheading the ambitious project to replace a theater built by his ancestor four centuries ago.