We are delighted to announce that the Octagon has been awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status. The Octagon has become one in only a handful of theatres across the UK to be awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status and has been recognized for its commitment to becoming a welcoming and safe place.
City of Sanctuary celebrated the theatre’s approach to connecting with people through dinner parties, open days, productions and theatre groups for refugees.
Flight performed recently in Octagon Theatre’s REVEAL festival helped raise awareness of the issues facing many asylum seekers and refugees. This was a newly commissioned play by writer Nuzhat Ali which explored the dilemma of one man facing the relentless destruction of his city, his home and his family in Syria.
The Octagon also runs a women-only weekly storytelling and music session led by drama facilitators from the theatre. The sessions give women refugees and asylum seekers the chance to use singing, movement and stories to build confidence, improve English language skills and meet new friendly people.
Octagon Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman comments “I am so proud and thrilled to be accepting this award on behalf of theatre. We are committed to being an open and safe place for people to come to and have worked with key partners across Bolton to engage people in an authentic and meaningful way which has helped make a real difference in Bolton.”
The award was presented to the Octagon’s Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman and Head of Creative Engagement Deborah Dickinson by Sabir Zazai, City of Sanctuary chair and CEO of Scottish refugee council Jeff Morgan trustee of City of Sanctuary at the Newcastle Civic Centre National Awards City of Sanctuary AGM on Tuesday 15 May 2018.