Record-breaking 12 months for ticket sales at Octagon Theatre

A scene from Hobson’s Choice at the Octagon which was the theatre’s second most successful production

A scene from Hobson’s Choice at the Octagon which was the theatre’s second most successful production

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , entertainment reporter

A STORY by a Nobel Prize-winning author, a mid-20th century classic and a Lancashire comedy helped Bolton’s Octagon Theatre notch up a record-breaking 12 months.

The theatre has smashed box office records with three hit shows over the last 12 months — Of Mice and Men, An Inspector Calls and Hobson’s Choice.

The hat-trick of successes started in January 2013, when popular schools text, Of Mice and Men, played to almost 12,000 people and became the best-selling, non-festive show in the Octagon’s 45-year history.

Sales for the production of John Steinbeck’s novel which tells of fast-talking farm hand George and his innocent companion, Lennie, and their desire for the American Dream — surpassed the previous record held by Spring and Port Wine by 2,000 tickets.

In September 2013, J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls, in which the mysterious Inspector Goole interrogates the members of the affluent Birling family about the tragic death of a young woman — played to more than 10,600 theatre-goers.

The Octagon’s most recent success, Hobson’s Choice, Harold Brighouse’s story of a boot-maker and his three daughters, has now taken second position after playing to an audience of nearly 11,000.

Artistic director David Thacker, is hoping to build on the recent successes with the theatre’s upcoming productions, including Twelfth Night for which 5,000 tickets were sold ahead of last night’s first show.

He said: “People are put off Shakespeare for a lot of reasons — they studied it at school or think they won’t understand it.

“If they thought, I will give it a go because it’s the same 10 actors from Hobson’s Choice, I will go and see what they are like in Twelfth Night, even if you think you may not like Shakespeare.”

Mr Thacker is also thrilled audiences turned out to see the range of work the theatre produces, including The Glass Menagerie, Piaf and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Roddy Gauld, the Octagon’s chief executive, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has been to visit the Octagon and we look forward to another year of great theatre in Bolton.”

Comments (4)

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11:09am Fri 28 Feb 14

I, Ludicrous says...

The productions since Thacker's arrival have been nothing short of superb. How lucky we are to have such a gem of a theatre in our hometown. Keep up the brilliant work, please.
The productions since Thacker's arrival have been nothing short of superb. How lucky we are to have such a gem of a theatre in our hometown. Keep up the brilliant work, please. I, Ludicrous
  • Score: 3

5:05pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Hulton Park says...

I agree with Ludicrous - Thacker has really put the Octagon back on the map. "Hobson's Choice" was masterly.
I agree with Ludicrous - Thacker has really put the Octagon back on the map. "Hobson's Choice" was masterly. Hulton Park
  • Score: 2

7:28pm Fri 28 Feb 14

maxie1 says...

I also agree with the previous two comments. Put plays on that people want to see - instead of arty **** nonsense- and audiences will flood in. I have been a season ticket holder for a number of years and last season and this season have been brilliant.
I also agree with the previous two comments. Put plays on that people want to see - instead of arty **** nonsense- and audiences will flood in. I have been a season ticket holder for a number of years and last season and this season have been brilliant. maxie1
  • Score: 1

8:30pm Sat 1 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

Must have been visited on a regular basis by the highly cultured Thomas222, Boltonchap, George-X and FoS'45 - although the times, I have been to see the varying performances (from good to more than excellent), I haven't seen those cultured comment contributors!
Must have been visited on a regular basis by the highly cultured Thomas222, Boltonchap, George-X and FoS'45 - although the times, I have been to see the varying performances (from good to more than excellent), I haven't seen those cultured comment contributors! BWFC71
  • Score: 1

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