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Shakespeare North Playhouse recruits Olympics dream team

London Olympics dream team Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce have teamed up again to act as special advisers to the new Shakespeare North Playhouse.

The award-winning director and Crosby-based writer will share their extensive experience in the arts and creative industries and help to shape the creative programme as the new theatre prepares to open at Prescot in 2022.

Boyle and Cottrell Boyce worked together on the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, as well as on the 2004 film Millions which the writer later turned into a Carnegie Medal-winning book.

Cottrell Boyce, who is already involved with the Playhouse scheme, said: “Speaking as someone who grew up just a stone’s throw from where this wonderful new theatre will be built, I really couldn’t be more excited. The Playhouse will be such an amazing asset for the area and for all the people living here too.

“Theatre and the arts have such an amazing ability to bring people together and create such joy - no matter what your age or background.

“I still consider myself a local lad, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to be so closely involved with this project and to be able to help shape what I’m sure will be a fantastic programme of events.”

The auditorium will be modelled on the 17th Century 'cockpit-in-court' design

Oscar-winner Boyle added: “When Frank spoke to me about The Playhouse, I jumped at the opportunity to get more involved.

“I started my professional life in the theatre and love the excitement of live performance. I hope I can share some of my experience to benefit the project, but I also hope I might learn something new along the way.”

The news follows the appointment in September of the venue's new creative director Laura Collier.

Prescot was the only place outside London to have a purpose-built theatre during Elizabethan times and the team behind the Playhouse say its opening in 2022 will complete the ‘Shakespeare triangle’ with the Globe in London and Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford.

At the centre of the new building will be a flexible theatre with capacity for between 320 and 472 seats, based on the 17th Century ‘cockpit-in-court’ design.

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