Bolton’s Octagon Theatre have announced their reopening season after a two year redevelopment programme that closed their stages and then more postponements due to Covid-19.
Their opening show will be The Hound of the Baskervilles running from Thursday 1st July – Saturday 7th August as world renowned detective Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson unravel the mystery surrounding the untimely death of Sir Charles Baskerville in this brilliantly farcical adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel. It’s adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, and directed by the Octagon’s Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham.
Ahead of the first production opening the venue will ‘warm up’ the new building with a number of events throughout May and June.
Opening the Warm Up season is a poignant, heartfelt and moving new one act play, See You At The Octagon (Wednesday 26th May – Tuesday 15th June) by local stage and screen writer Becky Prestwich. This specially commissioned monologue is a story about the people and the town of Bolton, inspired by the public responses to the Octagon’s Eight Questions questionnaire, which draws on memories shared of the past year and hopes for the future.
Justin Moorhouse and Friends Warm up the Building (Friday 11th June) as the Manchester-born comedian, actor, writer and radio presenter Justin Moorhouse hosts a line up including Tez Ilyes, Jamie Hutchinson and Rachel Fairburn.
The Octagon’s hugely popular First Bite sessions are back offering ‘script-in-hand’ readings as actors perform brand new plays. The latest instalment includes This Tree is for the Chop (Friday 28th May) by Hannah Wilkin, Fake (Tuesday 1st June) by Robert Hudson, Brownballed (Wednesday 9th June) by Adam Kotwal, India Pale Ale (Wednesday 16th June) by Jaclyn Backhaus and Or (Friday 18th June) by Liz Duffy Adams.
In partnership with MACFEST (Muslim Arts and Culture Festival), the Octagon have commissioned three artists of Muslim heritage, actor and writer Shamia Chalabi, writer Shahid Iqbal Khan and actor, musician and writer Maimuna Memon, to create an exciting range of digital work which will be available to watch online from Monday 14th June.
Feels Like Home with Mina Anwar & The Dave Bintley Trio (Saturday 5th June) is an intimate evening of song and chat features a repertoire of musical numbers from jazz to show tunes as the West End star shares some of her favourite songs.
Audiences can also book for a unique musical extravaganza with Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (Saturday 19th June). The cast take suggestions from the audience as this Olivier Award-winning touring improvisational troupe will weave a brand new musical live on stage.
The Octagon is also a partner venue for the inaugural Right to Roam Festival (Friday 16th & Saturday 17th July) a new multi venue music and arts festival coming to Bolton this summer, featuring a spectacular line-up of live music from the region’s brightest rising musicians, bands and artists.
The Fabularium bring their acclaimed family show Reynard The Fox (Friday 30th July – Sunday 8th August) to outdoor spaces across Bolton. Telling the tale of Reynard, the animal kingdom’s most infamous scoundrel it combines exciting visuals, storytelling, puppetry and original live music.
“Our Warm Up season will give us the first opportunity to showcase our brand new building, as well as present some wonderful outdoor performances and activities taking place at locations across Bolton this summer,” says Octagon Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham.
“This past year has reminded us more than ever of the importance and need for live theatre and with restrictions now lifting and theatres able to resume live performances we cannot wait to share the laughs, drama, fun and sheer joy that comes from being part of that experience.”
The Octagon’s Warm Up season will go on sale on Saturday 8th May at 9am with priority booking available for Members from Thursday 6th May. Tickets can be booked via the Octagon’s website www.octagonbolton.co.uk or by calling the Box Office on 01204 520 661. Please note that in person bookings are not available at present.