Lotte Wakeham announced as new Artistic Director

Lotte Wakeham announced as new Artistic Director

Octagon Theatre Bolton are delighted to announce Lotte Wakeham as their next Artistic Director

The theatre’s board, Chief Executive and external advisers made the appointment for a new Artistic Director last week after an extensive interview and selection process. Lotte Wakeham will take up the role in Bolton from February 2019.

Lotte is currently the Associate Artistic Director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough where she is directing the regional premiere of Jess and Joe Forever - a “tender and engaging revival of Zoe Cooper's poignant, funny coming-of-age tale” (The Stage). Lotte is also an associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, having worked on Matilda the Musical in Stratford, the West End and on Broadway.

At the Stephen Joseph Theatre Lotte has directed The World Goes Round, the regional premiere of Di and Viv and Rose and transferred Alan Ayckbourn’s new play A Brief History of Women to New York. Lotte’s other directing credits include: Rumpelstiltskin (Theatre Royal Bath / MAC, Belfast), Lizzie Siddal (Arcola Theatre; winner of 2 Off West End Awards) and Upper Cut (Southwark Playhouse; nominated for the Alfred Fagon Audience Award).

Lotte has been nominated as ‘Best Director’ in the Off West End Awards twice, most recently for her 2017 production of The Hound of the Baskervilles (Jermyn Street Theatre / English Theatre Frankfurt / Deustches Theater Munich).

Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive, Octagon Theatre Bolton has said “There were a number of very high calibre candidates for this role, making it a difficult choice.  Lotte Wakeham stood out as the right person.  She is a hugely versatile director, who creates shows of quality, flair, fun and warmth. I know Bolton’s audiences will enjoy her work.  

“During the recruitment, Lotte proved herself to be a thoughtful leader and collaborator, with new vision and inspiration to build on our previous success.  I'm thrilled to welcome Lotte to the Octagon, to be working with her on re-opening the theatre in 2020 and planning an exciting future.”  

Upon accepting the role, Lotte Wakeham has said “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the Octagon as Artistic Director. It’s an inspiring theatre; I’ve experienced some wonderful productions as an audience member and I can’t wait to start directing in the new space.

“It’s a hugely exciting time for the building, as it undergoes its capital redevelopment plans ahead of reopening in Spring 2020. I’m very much looking forward to working with Roddy and the brilliant team in Bolton. I’m honoured to have been chosen to take over from Elizabeth Newman - I can’t wait to get to know the audiences in this fantastic town and to start making shows for them.”

Claire Moreland, Chair of the Trustees at the Octagon Theatre wrote “At this important time in the transformation of the theatre, Lotte Wakeham will be a brilliant asset to the Octagon. Roddy, the Board and I met some wonderful candidates throughout the process and we were very impressed by what Lotte presented. I’m sure everyone will join us in welcoming Lotte to Bolton and I look forward to working together towards an exciting future for the theatre.”

On the appointment Paul Robinson, Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre commented “Lotte has been a tremendous asset to the Stephen Joseph Theatre during her year-long placement as Associate Artistic Director, supported by Arts Council England and The Backstage Trust. Her appointment as Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, is an accolade both for Lotte and the SJT.

“It’s a reminder of the important role our theatre has in developing artists and leaders for the future. We’re so proud of what Lotte has achieved here and delighted that she's moving forward to become Artistic Director of a theatre with which we will have an even stronger working relationship in the future.”

Lotte will be preparing to join the Octagon over the coming months and is expected to announce her first full season later in the year. Ahead of reopening in 2020, the Octagon theatre continues its off site season of productions whilst the building undergoes a major redevelopment.