Memories of the 1923 FA Cup Final relived at the home of the Wanderers

Memories of the 1923 FA Cup Final relived at the home of the Wanderers

The Octagon Theatre turn back the clock to the Trotters’ finest hour with And Did Those Feet a play about the Wanderers, written by Wanderers fans performed at their home ground.

Former Artistic Director David Thacker returns to the Octagon to bring back Bolton’s most famous football story to the Lion of Vienna Suite, University of Bolton Stadium 21 October – 1 November.

Written by writers from Bolton and life-long Wanderers fans Les Smith (Early One Morning) and Martin Thomasson, And Did Those Feet was directed by Mark Babych in 2007 and 2009.

Following the lives of two families in the build up to the most unmissable football game in Bolton history: the 1923 FA Cup Final, Bolton Wanderers V West Ham United - the first game to be held at the newly built Wembley Stadium.

There’s a couple whose wedding plans clash with the big day, a footballer lost in the war and Bob Stott, – the newsagent determined not to miss the match who walks 212 miles from Bolton to Wembley in ribbons and clogs.

Martin Barrass (The Kings of Hull, Hull Truck; The Railway Children, Kings Cross Theatre; One Man Two Guvnors, National Theatre) will be playing Bob Scott, the man who walks from Bolton to Wembley, for the third time.

Playing young Jim who works in Bolton town hall and dreams of revolution will be John Askew (Gypsy Queen, Hope Theatre; Wuthering Heights, Theatre Royal Windsor; The Revenger’s Tragedy, Nottingham Playhouse).

Familiar faces to Octagon audiences Colin Connor (Our Country’s Good, Nottingham Playhouse; To Kill A Mockingbird, Two2, The Winter’s Tale, Early One Morning, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Octagon Theatre Bolton) and Barbara Drennan (The Winters Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, An Enemy of the People, Octagon Theatre Bolton)will play Hilda and Alf the parents of WW1 soldier, Billy. Colin Connor and Barbara Drennan won Best Actress and Best Actor at the Manchester Theatre Awards 2015 for their performances in A View From The Bridge directed by David Thacker.

Nathan Ives-Moiba (Hayfever, Citizens Theatre) returns to the Octagon after being nominated Best Newcomer at the Manchester Theatre Awards for his debut performance in Tull at the Octagon in 2014.

Playing Ted and Martha, bride and groom to be who’s wedding day clashes with the big final, are Ciaran Griffiths (All I See Is You, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Shirley, Hope Mill Theatre; Shameless (Channel 4)) and Helen O’Hara (Dear Nomad, REVEAL 18) who return to the Octagon after making their Bolton debuts during the 50th anniversary season of the Octagon.

David Thacker, Artistic Director at the Octagon Theatre between 2009 – 2015 and Professor of Theatre Studies course at Bolton University said:

 “And Did Those Feet is a love story. It’s about a group of passionate Wanderer’s fans and their love of football. It’s also about a young couple planning their wedding in times of great austerity and hardship.

“It’s about the love of parents for their young son who was tragically killed in WW1. And, it’s about two brothers whose love is tested by their political views. But most of all it’s a play rooted in its love for Bolton and it’s people.

“We are bringing the play to Bolton’s home of football. I’m sure those who have seen the previous production will enjoy seeing the play performed overlooking the pitch and Stadium. For those who have never seen it, I hope this setting will give the play a wonderful atmosphere.”

Writers of And Did Those Feet Les Smith and Martin Thomasson are both dedicated supporters of Bolton Wanderers. Les Smith commented, “We’re delighted to be involved in creating And Did Those Feet for the Octagon for the third time.

“When Martin and I were commissioned to write the play to celebrate the 40th anniversary season for the Octagon, we never imagined that it would be performed at the Wanderers Stadium as part of the theatres 50th anniversary celebrations.

“It’s exciting to be able to work closely with the Director David Thacker and a new cast (except Martin Barrass) who will bring new life and ideas to the script. Seeing the play performed at the Stadium where we have lost and won so many games is going to be quite special. It’s a great opportunity for Bolton Wanderers fans to come and see the Wanderers win the FA Cup 12 times in less than a fortnight.”

Martin Thomasson commented “To put it in football terms: our manager (director, David Thacker) has put together a great team; our players (the cast) will give 110% for the full 90 minutes and we’ve no doubt that, when the final whistle blows, our lads (and lasses) will be lifting that trophy. ”

And Did Those Feet will be held at the Lion of Vienna Suite, University of Bolton Stadium Sun 21 Oct – Thu 1 Nov at 7.30pm (7pm Sun 21 & Sun 28 Oct) with matinee performances on Wed 24, Sun 28 Oct at 2pm. Ticket prices from £14.50 - £28.50.

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