Decades of the Octagon - celebrating 50 years

Decades of the Octagon - celebrating 50 years

In celebration of the past 50 years, we will be looking at each decade of the Octagon and sharing memories from those times. First up is 1967-77!

From the very beginning...

We have 6 founders. One of the founders, Robin Pemberton-Billing, became the first Artistic Director of the Octagon

The Octagon opened with a world premiere, Annie and Fanny by Bill Naughton, which was watched on 27 November 1967 by Princess Margaret as well as a full auditorium of customers and guests. 

Ken Binge

We caught up with Rose Binge, who presented us with an amazing suitcase that belonged to Ken. It is filled with photos, drawings, and press clippings from when Ken was here at the Octagon.

Ken's first professional acting job was right here at the Octagon.

"Ken was a very versatile actor. He was often cast as the young romantic lead but also in character parts. He played the young boy Reggie in 'Accrington Pals' and the old man Medvedenko in 'The Seagull'."

Rose Binge

Ken returned to the Octagon again in 1980, staying until 1984. This time, he and his family moved to Bolton. Influenced by Ken, his daughter Holly became the Head of Drama at a local school and has won BATS awards for directing plays. 

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” 

- Alice in Wonderland

Just some of the many productions from 1972 - 1977