Know your theatre:

Know your theatre:

Built for £95,000 by public subscription and opened in 1967, the Octagon was the first professional theatre built in the North West after World War II - one of very few 'in the round'. Particularly associated with local playwrights Bill Naughton and Jim Cartwright, the Octagon today offers a wide range of repertory productions and co-productions mixing classics and lighter material.

When the theatre's future was threatened in 1999, 12,000 people signed a petition to 'Keep theatre made in Bolton', and succeeded.

Currently undergoing a major renovation (to reappear as lower picture), it is due to reopen in 2020, though performances continue in other venues.

The Octagon's main space seats up to 390, its studio space 100. The main house has the best sight lines of any theatre – that's probably a fact.


Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft St, Bolton BL1 1SB (but currently at Market Place Shopping centre, upper floor).


Box Office: 01204 520661 (Mon-Sat, 9.30am-4.30pm; applies also to group bookings), Theatre admin currently at 3rd Floor, The Wellsprings, Civic Centre, Bolton BL1 1US while the theatre is closed. 


The temporary premises have a cafe and the box office, and community and youth programmes run there. The new theatre will have a two-floor cafe/bar, better access for disabled people, new seating and studio and classroom spaces.


Online box office:

Market Place car park. free after 5pm.

Go here for what's on and follow the show links for tickets.