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About Us

Imaginarium was established as Merseyside Arts Theatre & Education (MATE) in March 2000 in Halewood, Knowsley. In 2014 we relocated to Prescot and moved to into Cockpit House (the old clock museum). This move facilitated the expansion of our community and youth engagement work, and our ability to develop more outdoor and site-specific theatre. 


In 2019 we took over the creative management of a new piazza opposite the new Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot town centre. The Imaginarium Roundhouse sits in the centre of the piazza, where we host performances, workshops and events.  


We have recently moved into our new Imaginarium Creative Hub located on Ecclestone Street, at the heart of Prescot's cultural community.


Our spectacular outdoor productions of Shakespeare plays and literary classics tour annually to parks, community gardens and great halls across the North West to audiences of 2000+ people, and have become an exciting highlight in our calendar. 


Imaginarium Theatre is an Associate Company of the Shakespeare North Playhouse (SNP), and a Royal Shakespeare Company Open Stages partnership organisation. We work in partnership with the Shakespeare North Playhouse and Knowsley Council at grassroots level and with our associate artists and freelance practitioners to develop Prescot as a creative and cultural hub for Knowsley and an exciting visitor destination for the wider Liverpool City Region. 


Here are the places where you can find us... 

The Imaginarium Arts Hub

Located at 4-6 Eccleston Street in the heart of Prescot town centre the hub is Imaginarium’s creative centre.



This welcoming space houses a multi-functional space which is used for rehearsals/auditions, community crafting workshops, delivering classes and courses as well as a performance space.


It is also our Head office.

The Hub
Shakespeare North Playhouse

The Shakespeare North Playhouse is an iconic new 425 seat theatre (modelled on the Inigo Jones cockpit-in-court design popular during the Elizabethan era) constructed in the centre of Prescot town centre. It opened in Summer 2022 to great fanfare with a joyous celebration of all that is good about Knowsley as a centre point to the Borough’s year as the Liverpool City region’s Borough of Culture.”

The connections between Knowsley, Shakespeare and Elizabethan theatre, through the support Shakespeare received from the Earls of Derby, provide an appealing historical connection to a truly modern cultural and educational asset for the north of England.

As an Associate Company, Imaginarium were honoured to be the second company to tread the boards on the main Cockpit stage with their production of Strange Tale. This was so well received by both critics and audiences that we were asked to bring it back for a reprise!


Imaginarium also runs a number of our youth theatres from the Playhouse and we are able to make full use of the stage and outdoor theatre garden dedicated to Sir Ken Dodd: the Squire of Knotty Ash.

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Shakespeare North Playhouse
Piazza & Bistro
Imaginarium Bistro & Piazza

Imaginarium’s exciting new outdoor event space is the

heritage lottery-funded Piazza at Market Place, Prescot.   We work with local partners and cultural and community organisations to provide an exciting year-round programme of outdoor arts events.


At the heart of the Piazza, you will find the new Imaginarium Bistro serving Italian and Mediterranean food.  

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Photo: Steve Samosa

Round House
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The Roundhouse

The Imaginarium Roundhouse is a stunning green and white 9m big top funded by Awards for All and local partners that will provide an all weather creative community hub at The Piazza at Market Place from the spring of 2021. 


The Roundhouse will host events, performances and workshops for local people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Meet The Team

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Jake Ryan

Media & Website Manager


Kristian Lawrence

Media & Marketing Manager


Tish Cartlidge-Hughes

Communications Manager


    Gaynor La Rocca

    Artistic Director & CEO


    Francesco La Rocca

    Finance & Business Development Manager


    Megan Feery

    Participation Manager & Theatre Practitioner 


    Julie Ashurst

      Education Manager & Arts Awards Coordinator

      Associate Artists


      Jane Allen

      Costume Design/Wardrobe


      Taran Harris

      Musical Director


      Kieran McCarthy-Hoare


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