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Special Anniversary Celebrations at Shakespeare North Playhouse

This Autumn, Shakespeare North Playhouse is celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio with a special exhibition and performance.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, which is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, containing 36 out of some 38 Shakespeare plays.

Collated and published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, only 18 of the plays had previously been printed during his lifetime. Without the First Folio some of Shakespeare’s most revered works may not have survived and would not be known today.

A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio will be on display in the Exhibition Gallery at Shakespeare North Playhouse. The treasured artefact is on loan from The British Library and is one of 50 copies that still exist today.

The Grenville First Folio that will be loaned to Shakespeare North Playhouse, was bequeathed in 1846 as part of the library of Thomas Grenville, a politician and book collector. Unlike so many First Folios today, it contains all pages, including its original title page with the iconic portrait of William Shakespeare.

You can also learn more about the history of the Folio at an expert talk with Ben Crystal.

In addition, The Book of Will, a witty, funny and fast-paced play that tells the story of the First Folio’s conception, is running at the Playhouse this month and next.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities said:

“It is wonderful that we have such a special and precious artefact on display at Shakespeare North Playhouse. I hope that as many people as possible will visit the exhibition and find out more about the fascinating history of the First Folio.

I’m really proud that Knowsley Council is supporting this exhibition which makes it possible for our local communities to access such an extraordinary piece of history right on their doorstep.”

All of the details and booking options are on the Shakespeare North Playhouse website. The exhibition runs until Saturday 11 November.