My earliest memory involving The Octagon involved a theatre trip from my primary school. It can’t have been long after it first opened, but the big excitement was us all going on a coach from Manchester to Bolton, as it wasn’t somewhere that we used to visit. What I do recall is that it was the first day The A666 – St Peter’s Way – had opened, so we were in this “charabanc” on the road -and there were no other vehicles in sight – which was quite eerie.
I can’t recall which performance we went to see, but it obviously made an impression because when I attended Sixth Form College some years later, I applied for a major part in A Christmas Carol as Marley’s Ghost! Shortly after Chancellor Financial Management Ltd became Corporate Supporters of The Octagon, we took some of our clients to see Charles Dickens’ classic play there. Everyone thought it was absolutely brilliant and afterwards we were presented with one of the photos from the production - which now has pride of place in our boardroom.
Chancellor Financial decided to become involved with The Octagon, because like the theatre itself, we have been based in this great town since the very start and we wanted to have a strong link to our roots and to be able to showcase some of Bolton’s finest attributes to our clients, who may not have visited the town previously.
When the Buy A Brick initiative was launched, I bought a couple for my kids as I have such fond memories of the theatre when I was young and I thought it would be nice for them to be involved with the “brand new” building from the very beginning. Recently, one of them came to see Little Voice with us – which was her very first visit to an Octagon production!
Being Corporate Supporters, Chancellor have been given a “sneak preview” of some of the plans. The developments to make the theatre more accessible to the people of Bolton are really inspiring and exciting – both from the point of view of allowing even more people to experience the fine productions, but also because accessibility is something that is close to Chancellor’s heart. We are also Proud patrons of Bolton Lads and Girls Club and it was good to learn how these two iconic institutions work together to inspire and encourage the young people of the town.