The Octagon Theatre Bolton is excited to announce a new season of off-site productions set in iconic Bolton locations.
2018/19 sees the Octagon Theatre Bolton map out a season of dramas, musicals and family shows across well-loved locations around Bolton. The new Bolton Interchange, Queens Park, Macron Stadium and Bolton’s Albert Halls will all play host to the theatres productions whilst the town centre building undergoes a £10 million redevelopment.
And Did Those Feet
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Importance of Being Earnest
Kicking off the new season with And Did Those Feet, Les Smith’s story of the Bolton Wanderers at the 1923 FA Cup Final taking place at the home of the Wanderers, the Macron Stadium. Follow the story of how a group of Boltonians find their lives transformed by eleven men in white shirts, directed by David Thacker in the Lion of Vienna Suite Sun 21 – Wed 31 October 2018
In December the Octagon Theatre Bolton will be presenting their yearly festive production with Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, at the Premier Suite, Macron Stadium (Tuesday 4 – Monday 31 December 2018). It’s the classic story set in Bolton. Our Boltonian Dorothy is swapping her ruby slippers for red trainers in this magical tale of friendship and adventure with original music performed live.
Starting 2019 with an explosive drama, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Bolton born Jim Cartwright will be directed by Ben Occhipinti and told by a company of multi-talented actor musicians. Escape with Little Voice as she dreams of fame and fortune, impersonating all the great divas from Bassey to Springfield, at the Albert Halls (Thu 24 January – Sat 2 February 2019).
Oscar Wilde’s sensational and lavish witty comedy The Importance of Being Earnest runs from Thu 6 – Sat 15 June 2019, directed by Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman. Mistaken identity, scandal and romance – this Victorian satire will be enjoyed in the perfect setting of Bolton’s Albert Halls.
Shows already announced in the season out of the building include the Octagon’s next production Summer Holiday - the feel-good 1960’s musical featuring classic Cliff Richard songs from Thu 31 May – Sat 23 June 2018. Starting from the Bolton Interchange this exciting promenade production will take audiences on a musical bus journey to Victoria Square before concluding the story at the Octagon theatre.
Bringing together Bolton’s young people and community choirs, an open-air promenade production of Gulliver’s Travels will take place in the beautiful setting of Bolton’s Queens Park (Thu 16 – Mon 27 August 2018). Directed by Elizabeth Newman & Ben Occhipinti this is a community collaboration of epic proportion and the Octagons first ever show in a park.
As well as these major productions we will continue our work developing talent including a full programme of participation groups, our annual festival of emerging theatre REVEAL and we are thrilled to announce a season of response plays – NEW TAKE that will offer a diverse group of writers the opportunity to respond to the exciting new venues throughout the season.
Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman comments; “The Octagon has a strong spirit. We see our off site season as a time to truly extend our hand of friendship to Bolton communities. The artistic policy is centred on extending reach, diversity and innovation so we have been eager to get out on the road to discover new places and make new friends. It’s so important that we continue to make great theatre in Bolton and throughout the season we have reimagined some of Bolton’s favourite productions in exciting venues which will shine a new light on these wonderful plays. We are fortunate to have secured residencies at Bolton’s Albert Halls and the Bolton Wanderers’ home the Macron Stadium.
"We will also be supporting new talent throughout the year and are particularly excited to present our NEW TAKE response plays which will encourage and develop the country’s diverse playwrights. They will be inspired by our productions and the brilliant partners we are working with to produce our off site season of work.
"A key partnership for us during our off site season is the award winning Market Place. Our artistic work with participants and children’s storytelling is at the centre of what we do. This work will be hosted at the Market Place along with our Box Office and Café eight. We want to continue to be a community hub. Our Marketplace base will offer regulars to the Octagon and new friends a home away from home during the time of the refurbishment.”
Chief Executive, Roddy Gauld: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to extend our theatres reach in Bolton and to continue building strong relationships within our community. We’re taking our theatre’s productions to five different venues in Bolton and we’re grateful to have been welcomed with support by local businesses.
“When we re-open in 2019, the theatre will be more accessible and more comfortable for audiences and artists, we’ll have more space for our youth and community work and better facilities for the public - most importantly it means that the theatre will remain a fixture in the town for years to come.”
The Octagon Theatre 2018/19 season will go on general sale and to season ticket holders Monday 30 April, 9am.
For more information the Octagon’s Out and About season or to book tickets, please visit octagonbolton.co.uk or call the Box Office team on 01204 520661
For interview and other press requests please contact Rachael Norris on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01204 556505