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.
The theatre closed in 2018 for a £12m renovation and officially reopened, after Covid delays, on July 6 2021, with a production of The Hound Of The Baskervilles. The revamped building has a new roof, electrics and plumbing, is more environmentally friendly, has greatly improved accessibility, new restaurant, bar and back stage facilities.
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.
CAUTION: until theatre resumes fully following the Covid restrictions, check with the theatre and book tickets and meals ahead before travelling
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft St, Bolton BL1 1SB.
Box Office: 01204 520661 (Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm, opt 2; applies also to group bookings). You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org with general inquiries and email@example.com with booking inquiries.
The new theatre has an extensive cafe/bar area (open Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm) breakfast served until noon), extensive facilities for disabled patrons, new seating and studio and classroom spaces.
Nearest car park: Octagon NCP multi-storey (BL1 1TN). Free street parking (some disabled bays) in Le Mans Crescent after 6pm, (limited spaces).
Online box office:
Go here for what's on and follow the show links for tickets. Access 24 hours.