New Shakespeare North Playhouse chief named

Melanie Lewis (inset), chief of the new Shakespeare North Playhouse (latest artist impression)

Writer:

Paul Genty

25 May 2021

Melanie Lewis currently boss of city's museums

Director of National Museums Liverpool, Melanie Lewis, is to move across the city to become chief executive of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, currently under construction in Knowsley.

The Playhouse, in Prospero Place, Prescot, will complete the UK’s Shakespearean triangle, London and Stratford being the other two points. The £20m theatre is due to open next year – Covid delays notwithstanding – but Lewis will take up her new role in August.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead the region’s newest and most exciting cultural attraction,” she said. “My passion lies with shaping and enriching the whole visitor experience, be that in our local community, our city, from across the UK and around the world.”

Lewis has been with National Museums Liverpool for nine years, seven of them as an executive director. She has been responsible for all commercial business, the visitor experience, strategy and planning. Before joining the museums she had senior positions at Everton and Blackburn Rovers football clubs.

The theatre is being funded by Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and HM Treasury, plus a £3m Culture Recovery Fund grant and more than £1m from private donors – notably including one from the Sir Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation Trust.

More about the appointment and the new theatre here