After two years of redevelopment and coronavirus-forced disappointments, Bolton Octagon is finally getting the live show back on stage with a season of “warm up” events and its first major production in its new home.
A comedy production of The Hound of the Baskervilles will open the redeveloped building from July 1-August 7.
A specially commissioned monologue, stand-up comedy, live music, play readings and family entertainment are also in the programme.
Ahead of the first production opening, the venue will warm up the new building with events throughout May and June.
Opening the season will be moving new one-act play, See You at the Octagon (May 26-June 15) by local writer Becky Prestwich. The specially-commissioned story about the people and town of Bolton has been inspired by the public responses to the Octagon’s Eight Questions project, which gathered memories of the past year and hopes for the future.
Manchester comedian Justin Moorhouse gets together with local comedians Tez Ilyes, Jamie Hutchinson and Rachel Fairburn (June 11) for a night of laughter, and the Octagon’s popular First Bite play-reading series returns on various dates from May 28 with a selection of new plays.
Other highlights include musical extravaganza Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (June 19), an Olivier award winning show based on suggestions from the audience.
Octagon artistic director Lotte Wakeham said, “Our summer Warm Up season gives 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.
”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 that experience.”
The season is on sale to Octagon members today, and to the general public from Saturday.
Information about the entire season can be found here