Ken Dodd's widow pledges £700k to theatre project

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 19 August 2020
Sir Ken Dodd

Sir Ken Dodd

Sir Ken Dodd's widow has pledged around £700,000 to support a new theatre in Prescot, which will celebrate the English town's links to William Shakespeare

Sir Ken Dodd's widow has pledged around £700,000 to support a new theatre.

Lady Anne Dodd has committed to meeting the construction costs for a mini-amphitheatre in Prescot, which will celebrate the English town's links to William Shakespeare.

Anne explained that Ken was "absolutely delighted" to support the project when the idea was presented to him a couple of years before his death in 2018.

Speaking about the construction project, she told 'The One Show': "One of the ideas I had was that famous phrases from Shakespeare should appear on the steps as you go up, and interspersed with 'How tickled I am', 'tattyfilarious', 'plumptious' – a few of Ken's well-known phrases."

The Merseyside theatre's ultimate hope is that the performance garden – which is expected to open in 2022 – will form part of a Shakespeare Triangle, along with London and Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Shakespeare North Playhouse project.

In the Elizabethan era, Prescot was the only place outside London to have a purpose-built theatre.

The Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation initially invested £250,000 in the theatre, but the initiative has now decided to commit around £700,000 to the project.

Anne explained that her late husband – who passed away at the age of 90 – was a huge fan of Shakespeare and she was eager to support the theatre.

She said: "Ken just loved Shakespeare because of the words, he was such a wordsmith.

"A lot of people may not recall – way back in 1971 Ken played Malvolio in 'Twelfth Night'. Some people thought he might not stick to the script, but he did, he was word perfect from the first day. He got wonderful reviews.

"I'm really waiting for 2022, when we're all going to come here and see such wonderful performances. You know Ken would be really thrilled to bits. He would have loved it, he really would."

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