ALL of Bolton will become a stage as 'exciting' and 'new' theatre will take centre stage in the town.

The Octagon Theatre has announced its 2018 REVEAL Festival line-up — when directors and actors take the stage to the people.

Eight original and exciting performances will be showcased across two weeks: including three online pieces and five live theatre performances in a variety of locations outside the theatre.

REVEAL is described by the theatre, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, as a 'fantastic opportunity to experience the work of emerging theatre-makers and established artists in different spaces across Bolton'.

This is the third such festival and will be showcasing new works outside and online from Monday, April 23 until Saturday, May 4.

This year the variety of shows, includes a new children’s performance targeted at three-to-seven-years-olds, as well as work in progress performances from emerging artists and work from established theatre companies that tackle challenging issues such as human trafficking, sexual violence, and masculinity.

Associate Producer Deborah Dickinson said: "We are thrilled to be presenting our third REVEAL Festival, offering audiences an opportunity to experience compelling, original theatre in alternative spaces across Bolton. REVEAL is a chance to see work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and showcases exciting new theatre makers as well as established artists."

Penguins, a unique and engaging children’s show, will be performed at Bolton School.It follows the adventures of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins as they explore friendship, fun, identity and the ever-changing meaning of family. Co-produced with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Cahoots NI and Prime Theatre, Penguins is currently touring the UK.

Freedom Studios and Ben Tagoe, a regular writer on Coronation Street, will present When We Were Brothers, an intimate exploration of friendship, masculinity and betrayal.

Performed in The Venue, a bar in Bolton, the story tracks a lifelong friendship told though the eyes of two men, who share laughter and sadness together and come to understand the fragile nature of the male psyche.

Monkeywood Theatre returns to present a brand new, site-specific show after their Manchester Theatre Award nominated performance Multi-Story in 2016.

This time a team of all female writers and performers bring to life Trial, a play about women not being believed. Performed in a courtroom setting this riveting new work features explosive stories about women and girls in 2018 Britain.

Cross border movement is explored in Flight, an enthralling new play by Nuzhat Ali, about a father and daughter’s desperate and dangerous flight from Syria to Europe, performed in the open air on the rooftops of Bolton.

Dear Nomad follows the journey of young couple Trude and Hans as they try to find a sense of belonging in their new home in England, having been torn from their native Austria by the Second World War. The play is written and directed by Octagon Supported Artist, Cara Novotny.

This year’s festival will include an online performance, Boys Don’t Cry, in which performers in Bolton and France are live mixed by a DJ and live streamed to audiences; and two short, online films, one that explores the experience of an asylum seeker couple Letter to My Daughter, and the other What Matters? challenges preconceptions about young people’s use of social media.

Octagon Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman, said:"As we continue to celebrate our 50th Anniversary Season, it feels vital that a diverse group of artists are at the centre of our artistic programme. REVEAL celebrates the diversity of Bolton and everything the Octagon is striving to be now and in the future. We are a Theatre that explores new and innovative ways of making and presenting drama. After the brilliant success of the last two festivals I’m sure REVEAL 2018 will be inventive, original, and inspiring, and will help us to push the boundaries of theatre together with our audiences. This is a chance for artists, audiences, and staff here at the Octagon to take risks together.~"

For the full festival line up go to