A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Review of A Christmas Carol at Bolton Octagon.  Kate Ferguson and Susannah Pearse, the writing team behind Bolton Octagon’s new musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, have already been confirmed as the creators of the theatre’s 2023 festive offering (Around the World in Eighty Days). Quite a vote of confidence, considering that their latest show [...]

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Review of The Book Thief at Bolton Octagon. The world premiere of a new musical, an adaptation of a best-selling book, and the largest scale show staged in the new building - The Book Thief is obviously a big deal for Bolton Octagon. Yet there is no sign of any nerves in director Lotte Wakeham’s [...]

Kes

Kes

Review of Kes at Bolton Octagon. Robert Alan Evans’ adaptation of Barry Hines’ novel ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ recounts that familiar tale from a refreshingly different perspective. Here, Billy Casper is an adult, and the play reflects back on that pivotal period in his younger life when he found and trained a kestrel. As [...]

Seagulls

Seagulls

Bolton Octagon at Bolton Library Theatre. 30 October 2019. Nina and Con are a couple. Masha has feelings for Con, but is in a relationship with Simon. All four of them are at university together and in a band called Seagulls. They're about to enter a Battle of the Bands and the world seems full [...]

Beryl

Beryl

23 September 2019. Octagon Theatre, Bolton at Bolton Library Theatre. Beryl Burton. Wife, mother, Yorkshire woman, cyclist. Who? Never heard of her? You're probably not alone. Maxine Peake's play starts with the premise that Beryl is not that well-known, undeservedly so, and sets about putting that right. Along the way, it also explores what drove [...]

Manchester Theatre – Best of 2018

Manchester Theatre – Best of 2018

This year I ended up seeing lots of great theatre in Manchester as well as in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Sheffield and, for the first time, Huddersfield. The following are my favourite Manchester shows of 2018. In compiling the list I've restricted my choices to productions that were either premiered in Greater Manchester or could only [...]

Trial

Trial

Bolton Octagon at Bolton Town Hall. 26 April 2018. Bolton Octagon's annual REVEAL Festival promises "original and exciting theatre" although it also offers the additional bonus of seeing performances in non-theatre venues across Bolton. So far I've perched on a bar stool to watch a performance in a pub and sat on a row of [...]