News Story

The northern classic, Brassed Off, will kick off our autumn/winter season and we are thrilled to announce full casting details of our new co-production with Theatre by the Lake and Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Based on the smash hit 1996 film, this new production will be directed by Theatre by the Lake's Artistic Director, Liz Stevenson and comes to the Octagon from Thu 5 - Sat 28 September.

It’s 1994 and the tight-knit mining community of Grimley, Yorkshire, are fighting to keep their colliery open. Meanwhile, revered band leader, Danny, battles to keep his dispirited band of brass-playing miners together with the dream of qualifying for the National Championships at London’s Albert Hall. When the uncertainty around the pit’s future becomes too much for the band members, loyalty is tested, pressure mounts and the community begins to break apart. With their whole way of life at stake, can the band find a way to play on?

A talented company of 10 actors including several actor-musicians make up the cast for this new production full of grit, heart and northern humour.

The cast features: Daneka Etchells (The Real And Imagined History of the Elephant Man - Nottingham Playhouse/UK Tour, Titus Andronicus - Shakespeare’s Globe); Maxine Finch (Maggie May - Leeds Playhouse, LIT - HighTide); Joey Hickman (Brassed Off - Aberystwyth Arts, Brief Encounter - Theatre by the Lake/Stephen Joseph Theatre/Octagon Theatre Bolton); Joanna Holden (Pinnochio - Hull Truck Theatre, Lets Build - Polka Theatre/Bologna Festival); Matt Ian Kelly (What's Wrong with Angry - Oval House/BAC, I Am Star Trek - Hackney Empire); Greg Patmore (On The Night - Falling Pennies/Arcola, Educating Rita - Contexture Theatre); Russell Richardson (The Book of Will - Shakespeare North Playhouse/Octagon Theatre Bolton); Barney Taylor (The Unfriend - Playful Productions/Criterion, Henry V - Antic Disposition / Tour); Andrew Turner (Every Brilliant Thing - Theatre By The Lake, I Think We Are Alone - Frantic Assembly); Hannah Woodward (Dick Whittington and Sleeping Beauty - Queen’s, Hornchurch, The Wizard of Oz - Hartlepool Town Hall).

Brassed Off Director, Liz Stevenson (A Little Princess, Every Brilliant Thing - Theatre by the Lake), said:“We’re thrilled to collaborate once more with our co-producers Octagon Theatre Bolton and Stephen Joseph Theatre on this dynamic in-the-round production. It is a timely moment to present this iconic play, 30 years after the 1984 miners strike. Our production looks back on the battles of this close-knit mining community, asking, what has changed? And what does this play mean to us today? We have assembled an incredible team to make this show and we're excited to be working with local brass bands, to weave live brass music throughout the show to deliver a moving theatrical experience that celebrates the resilience of communities and the transformative power of music."

Joining the company for the Octagon dates will also include two local brass bands, Wingates Brass Band and Eagley Band (who return to Octagon following their performances in the Octagon’s 2014 production of Brassed Off).

Wingates band member Laura Hounsome said: "We are delighted to be invited back to work with the Octagon to perform 'Brassed Off'. The show depicts so many gritty, funny and emotive themes of British and banding history and community, with scenes backdropping the Whit Friday March Contests, and National Championships (of which Wingates has won four times in our history) still being annual highlights of the banding calendar. The music is hugely enjoyable to play and listen to and it is a privilege to be able to come and bring this play to life. Our players are looking forward to starting rehearsals for this iconic show!"

Eagley Band Treasurer, Deb Lyons commented: “The band are thrilled and excited to have this wonderful opportunity to perform in this latest production Brassed Off at the Octagon Theatre.Several of the band members played in the Octagon’s 2014 production of Brassed Off and still say it is one of the highlights of their playing with Eagley Band.”

The creative team includes: Simon Kenny (Set and Costume Designer); Matthew Malone (Musical Supervisor, arrangements and additional compositions); Johanna Town (Lighting Designer); Russell Ditchfield (Sound Designer); Chi San Howard (Movement Director); Alice Roberts (Costume Supervisor); Callum Berridge (Associate Director).

Brassed Off plays at the Octagon Theatre Bolton Thu 5 - Sat 28 September.

Tickets start from £15 and are on-sale now.

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