Get creative with the Octagon this summer

Get creative with the Octagon this summer

Join the Octagon theatre for 4 weeks of creative online activities for ages 5 to 105!

The doors might be currently closed on the Octagon building due to Covid-19,  but the theatre have been open for activity online delivering over 50 Zoom sessions since the start of lockdown with a 4 week festival of online creative activities starting on Monday 20th July!

Projects so far have included a creative writing competition, a time capsule, a video from participants to celebrate Refugee Week, Creative Kits for young and older people isolated by the pandemic, creative challenges, discover Arts Award online and video storytelling sessions among many more opportunities to engage and be creative.

The 4 week online festival ‘Get Creative Summer’ aims to reach as many people as possible and inspire creativity from afar in these times of social distancing.

Part of the festival are 5 events specifically for over 50s from the Octagon’s REACT programme, which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. These include a theatre club, a movement workshop with audio description, creative mindfulness and poetry workshops. All REACT events are open to anyone aged over 50 in Bolton and are completely free.

Caitlin Gleeson REACT producer comments “It has been a real challenge launching REACT during lockdown but it is more important than ever before that we bring people together, inspire creativity and ensure people are not isolated. I am thrilled with the selection of events on offer as part of the festival for older people. There are some incredibly talented artists who will be leading the sessions and I am certain it will be a rewarding and fun experience for all. We want as many people as possible to come along and enjoy these events from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

Other activity is targeted to young people who may be interested in a career in creative industries from writing workshops to a panel discussion with backstage roles to those who want to be on the stage with musical theatre workshops and a drama summer school for ages 8-18.

The Octagon’s Head of Creative Engagement Victoria Brown comments: “Since meeting in person has not been possible we have been busier than ever engaging the people of Bolton and beyond with creative activities. I am incredibly proud of the results we have achieved and we are more determined than ever to offer creative opportunities to as many people as possible. Get Creative Summer is a great chance for anyone to have a go with the events all taking place online for free or very small fees. So I really would encourage young and old who have perhaps been thinking about taking part in the past to have a go and get creative this summer! From dance and drama to writing and behind the scenes panels - there is something for everyone.”

Messages from participants:

In lockdown Octagon youth theatre have been making a time capsule film to record our experiences. Taking part in this has given me something positive to look forward to each week and has helped me to be more confident when interacting with other people, and I have learned lots of new skills.” Finley, Octagon Youth Theatre

“I love the theatre I’ve always loved the theatre and when I lost my sight four years ago I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the theatre anymore but through the Octagon I thoroughly enjoyed going to plays with audio description but these sessions on a Wednesday afternoon I’ve come to really enjoy and love taking part in …thank you so much.” React Theatre club member.

The theatre, which is a registered charity has announced the delay to the reopening of their building after 2 years of construction due the Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to one of the organisation’s biggest challenges in its history and it has recently launched a fundraising appeal to support the theatre through this difficult time. Donate online here. 

Get Creative Summer begins on Mon 20 July for 4 weeks with 20 different online events. 

Find out more and book your place