Throughout the 50 year history of the Octagon, many productions of Shakespeare’s work have been performed on the Octagon stage. In keeping with this proud tradition, the Octagon is celebrating Shakespeare’s work to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death.
Professor of Theatre and director David Thacker presenting Shakespeare’s epic play The Winter’s Tale and the Octagon will be working with its partner, the University of Bolton, for a special lecture by Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies Richard Wilson and to host two very special days investigating the life and work of the greatest playwrights of all time.
Experts and scholars from across the country will hold lectures at the Octagon, exploring Shakespeare and his work from fresh and interesting perspectives. There will be a chance to tackle some of the issues of Shakespeare’s work and how to bring it to life on stage in audience discussions with the Octagon’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, David Thacker, actors of The Winter’s Tale and other actors who have worked with David Thacker on Shakespeare productions.
David Thacker, Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton and director at the Octagon, said of the celebration: “The incredible impact of Shakespeare and his work on literature and drama is something that we at the Octagon are proud to showcase on our stage. This has become even more important to me now, as Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton. The University and the Octagon both feel that it is important, during the 400th anniversary of his death, to come together to celebrate Shakespeare’s extraordinary achievement.”
On Friday 4 November, there will be a series of talks throughout the day to explore the different aspects of Shakespeare’s work. Experts and actors from across the country will be discussing topics such as Comic-Strip Shakespeare and Shakespeare and the battle for diversity in twenty-first century UK Theatre. David Thacker and cast members will also share some of the priorities in presenting The Winter’s Tale. There will be a screening of David Thacker’s award-winning film, Measure for Measure, at Bolton Library.
On Saturday 5 November, there will be the chance to discover how Shakespeare’s personal dramas and the political climate of his time led him to create the literary masterpieces that we know and love today. David Thacker will work on stage with more than 20 actors, presenting a variety of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, including some of his most famous - Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet - to the little known play Sir Thomas More.
David continues: “The celebration is open to everyone, from Shakespeare enthusiasts to those who may not have encountered Shakespeare at all. This is an opportunity for people to gain insight into Shakespeare and his world, to learn something new, and to join us and the University in applauding his contribution to literature and drama.”
Kicking off the celebration will be The William Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Lecture by world-acclaimed Shakespeare scholar Professor Richard Wilson. This will take place at the University on Tuesday 25 October at 5.30pm.
To attend the activities on Fri 4 November, tickets cost £10.
To attend the activities on Sat 5 November, tickets cost £10.
Tickets for The Winter’s Tale at the Octagon can be bought separately. Ticket prices: £27.80 - £11