Prescot is coming alive with arts and culture as its 12th annual festival approaches.
The 10-day Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts opens in mid-June, but before then there’s an array of other cultural events in the historic Lancashire town.
Saturday, June 4 (10am—3pm, Church Street) sees the annual Elizabethan Fayre return, with games, stalls, live music, period drama and more in celebration of the town’s rich heritage. This year’s event has an added Shakespearean theme, in honour of the 400th anniversary of the world-famous playwright’s death.
Prescot Producers’ Market and Prescot Arts, Craft & Gift Fayre take place on the same day in the town centre.
In the evening (6.30pm, Prescot Parish Church & Woodlands), MATE Productions presents As You Like It, Shakespeare’s famous tale of romance, intrigue and hilarity.
Performances are also at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday 5 June, and the production then tours before returning to Prescot on 30 and 31 July.
The Prescot Festival itself (Friday, June 17 to 26) will pay homage to the Bard, with songs from Shakespeare-inspired musicals, a talk by LJMU historian Elspeth Graham, pop-up Macbeth—again courtesy of MATE—and a nod to Shakespearean film music at the Regal Festival Finale, which also commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
The festival will also announce the winner of its annual Short Story Competition, whose entrants were asked to write around the theme ‘in a pickle,’ a phrase first recorded in Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Tempest.
There’s plenty for people of all tastes in this year’s festival, with a choral performance of Mozart’s Requiem, schools’ instrumental and poetry competitions, Swingshift Big Band opening the proceedings with a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller, and much more.
“With the plans for a Prescot playhouse and college coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to pay homage to William Shakespeare,” said Prescot Festival Artistic Director Dr Robert Howard.
“June has become even more exciting in recent years, with the Elizabethan Fayre and outdoor Shakespeare productions all happening in the run-up to the festival.
“We encourage everyone to see what’s going on and maybe try something new, whether it’s theatre, an orchestral concert, a barn dance or something celebrating Prescot’s fascinating history.”
Full programme details for the Prescot Festival are online at www.prescotfestival.co.uk, and tickets are on sale on the website or in person from Poco Coffee at 30 Eccleston Street.