This Sunday a team of 27 runners from the Octagon Theatre Bolton are taking part in the Manchester 10k to raise money for the redevelopment campaign.
Lead by Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, the team brings together Artists, Board Members, supporters, participants, volunteers and staff members old and new all dedicated to the cause of making the Octagon more accessible to Bolton communities.
Barbara Hockaday, who was seen in the Octagon’s production of Singin in the Rain, has been training for the race alongside being in rehearsals for the forthcoming promenade production of Summer Holiday (Thu 31 May – Sat 23 Jun).
Writer and actor Sarah McDonald-Hughes, last seen at the Octagon in National Octagon Prize winning Sherbet, and Trial as part of Reveal Festival 2018, will also be swapping her stage shoes for running shoes to take on the 10k challenge.
Chair of the Octagon Board of Trustees, Claire Moreland, alongside fellow board members Rosslyn Colerley, Steven McArdle and Stephen Young are also among those showing their support for the charity by running in this year's Simply Health Great Manchester Run alongside other friends and supporters of the theatre.
Octagon staff members taking on the challenge include Head of Production Vinny Holme, Imogen Woolrich Creative Engagement Manager, Becca Muir Head of Development and Charlie Rachwal Head of Communications who have all spent six weeks in the lead up to the event preparing for the run.
Other volunteers include students and staff from the University of Bolton and parents of Octagon youth theatre members.
Elizabeth Newman has said: “I’m running the 10K for the Octagon Theatre Reimagined project to raise money and also raise awareness about why the project is so important. We need to make the theatre more accessible for participants, audiences and artists so we are redeveloping the building.
At the moment if you are a wheelchair user there’s lots of places you can’t get to, which can’t carry on.”
The Octagon as a charity is dedicated in delivering access to the arts however the current 50 year old building presents a barrier in allowing the theatre to open its doors to everyone. The building transformation will ensure that there is more capacity for community outreach programmes, updated performance and backstage facilities to assure continued artistic excellence, and improved audience comfort. Most crucially, the development will ensure that the building is fully accessible for all audiences, artists, participants and staff.
If you would like to make a donation to the fundraising team visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/TeamOctagon10k
To find out more about how you can help raise funds for the Octagon’s redevelopment, get in touch with the Development team on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit octagonbolton.co.uk