New writing

Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club
Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club

We are passionate about telling stories at the Octagon and at the beginning of many of the greatest stories is a piece of paper, a pen and, most importantly of all, a writer.

Theatres need new work to thrive and grow, and we believe that participating in writing has the power to enrich and change lives for the better. We develop talent across all levels of writing, from our proud tradition of commissioning new work in our main auditorium to encouraging local novice writers to share their scripts for the very first time.

Best of Bolton

Best of Bolton 2017
Best of Bolton 2017

The Octagon is passionate about developing new writing. Every year we run a competition called Best of Bolton, that celebrates outstanding original work by writers of all different ages, backgrounds and experiences.

Entries for Best of Bolton 2018 have now closed. Keep your eyes peeled as we'll soon be announcing the pieces selected to be performed on Sat 10 November and details of how to buy tickets.  

National Octagon Prize

First Words 2017: Blue, Being Amazing, Nobody Can Never Get Us Back
First Words 2017: Blue, Being Amazing, Nobody Can Never Get Us Back

The Octagon National Prize is a competition celebrating new and original writing for the stage.

Every year we ask for submissions from writers with any level of experience. The submissions are then reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges and the winning submissions will be performed in the Octagon Studio by professional actors. 


For the inaugural year of the prize we asked writers to submit monologues of any genre. From hundreds of entries from across the globe we selected 3 winning monologues that were performed in our studio in July 2017. 


For the second year, in celebration of the Octagon producing one of the most famous duologues in the theatrical canon Jim Cartwright’s TWO, entrants this year were invited to submit duologues. 

Selected from hundreds of submissions we selected two new powerful plays which were performed in our studio during our 50th anniversary season.