Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot, 17th July 2022

Not much wildlife this week, as we went to see the new Shakespeare North Playhouse on their “come and see us” opening weekend. Their centrepiece is the 470-seat Cockpit Theatre built of English Oak, by craftsmen using hand tools, to a design of Inigo Jones.

Their outdoor performance space is called the Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden, with seats like steps. The risers of the steps have quotations from both Shakespeare and Doddy.

Tangential wildlife interest was given by a series of animal sculptures dotted about the theatre and the town. In Prescot itself there are fourteen creatures featured in the Witches’ Chant from Macbeth. (“Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing.”) In and around the theatre we spotted some other creatures from Macbeth.

“Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined”
“The raven himself is hoarse, that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements.”

We walked over to the church, spotting another animal reference, part of a series celebrating Knowsley as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture this year. This is the “Midsummer Night Owl” in front of what claims to be a native wildflower area, but nothing much was growing in that dry shade.

Sunday had been the first of three days with a red weather warning of a heatwave, but it wasn’t too bad on the bus out or in the theatre, although it got quite uncomfortable on the bus home.
Public transport details: Bus 10A from Queen Square at 10.08, arriving High Street Prescot / Atherton Street at 10.52. Returned on bus 10 from High Street Prescot / Church Street at 1.45, arriving Liverpool 2.35.

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