New writing

Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club
Photo credit – Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club

We are passionate about telling stories at the Octagon and at the beginning of many of the greatest stories is a piece of paper, a pen and, most importantly of all, a writer.

Theatres need new work to thrive and grow, and we believe that participating in writing has the power to enrich and change lives for the better. We develop talent across all levels of writing, from our proud tradition of commissioning new work in our main auditorium to encouraging local novice writers to share their scripts for the very first time.

First Bite: Play Readings

Join us for three evenings of rehearsed readings of new plays at our home in the Market Place Shopping Centre.

We invite you to see our actors perform three new “script in hand” readings, followed by a Q&A. We’d love to hear your thoughts about these scripts, which might one day become full productions.

Fri 15 Nov 2019

First Bite: Family Trees

Fri 22 Nov 2019

First Bite: Wilt

Fri 29 Nov 2019

First Bite: Burkas and Bacon Butties

See it in our words

Octagon Theatre Bolton presents, in association with A Lovely Word, ‘See It In Our Words’ (Mon 4 November 6-7pm), an hour long performance poetry showcase, prior to the opening of Octagon Theatre and Middle Child’s production of Seagulls.

Presented by Alex Ferguson, this showcase will feature the brilliant Ciaran Hodgers as a headliner. We are looking for submissions from local poets to perform at this showcase.


  • You will need to record yourself speaking the poem, it can be an audio or video recording, as well as a written copy.
  • The poem should last a maximum of 3 minutes when performed aloud.
  • It should be on the topic of ‘coming of age’, in keeping with the show Seagulls, and the dilemmas the character’s face in this exciting modern adaption of Chekov’s classic. We welcome interpretations as broad as possible on this topic; it could be about someone at any stage of life, or not even about a person, about a thing, a place, or group of people.
  • You will need to send a dropbox or wetransfer link to us on, in an email entitled ‘Own Words: Poetry Submission [FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME]’. a drop box link with the audio/video recording and word document is preferable.
  • No hate speech will be tolerated, including, but not limited to homophobic, transphobic, racist, anti-semitic, sexist or disablist language.
  • You must be 14+ to enter your poem.

 The deadline for this is Mon 14 October 2019. All applicants will hear whether they have been successful by Fri 18 October. 

Performers get a free ticket to Seagulls at 7.30pm on Mon 4 Nov.

 We can’t wait to read your submissions!

Tickets for the event are free but we advise booking in advance - find out more