Shakespeare, Knowsley Hall & The Earl’s of Derby

The Lord Chamberlain's Men return to us this summer for another outstanding outdoor theatre performance!

We are delighted to welcome back The Lord Chamberlain’s Men to us this summer as they perform William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ in our beautiful gardens. See this all male cast perform in true Elizabethan costume in the open air.  Tickets for the evening performance on Wednesday 10th July 2024 are on sale now!

The beautiful backdrop

As you turn the corner and catch sight of your evening’s venue, feast your eyes on the magnificent Knowsley Hall. This authentic stately home, dating back to 1495, is the residence of The Earl and Countess of Derby. With its rich Shakespearian connections, there couldn’t be a more fitting backdrop for this thrilling tale. As the sun sets over the Hall’s gardens, you’ll be transported to another era.

Authentic Shakespeare

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men pride themselves on their authenticity! Their excellent performance is delivered by an all male cast, in the open air, paying homage to how Shakespeare’s plays would have originally been performed. Come and be enchanted by their exciting performance, thrilled by the beautiful Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.

An outdoor experience to remember

There’s nothing better than spending a summer evening in your garden, except perhaps enjoying a picnic while watching a play in our garden! Join us in the private grounds of Knowsley Hall and bring a picnic and a bottle of bubbly for a truly special evening!

Exclusive access

As Knowsley Hall is home to The Earl & Countess of Derby and an exclusive event venue, we are excited for this rare occasion when we open our doors to the public. For all the love and attention that goes into creating this beautiful venue, it’s great to show it off to you all. So, come along to this exclusive night and feel like a VIP!

Family connections

There are strong links between Shakespeare and the Earls of Derby. During the late 16th century, Prescot town had the only purpose-built indoor Elizabethan theatre outside the capital.   We are delighted The Shakespeare North Playhouse, a £38 million replica Jacobean theatre inspired by the Bard has opened on our doorstep in Prescot, attracting visitors from around the globe.

Ferdinando, the 5th Earl of Derby (depicted below), famously supported a troupe of actors known as Lord Strange’s Men, which included none other than William Shakespeare himself. This connection links Knowsley with Shakespeare, as it’s believed that Lord Strange’s Men may have performed at Knowsley Hall during times when London theaters closed due to the plague. The tradition continued with the 6th Earl, who maintained the family’s patronage of Shakespeare. Notably, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was premiered at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth I.
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