A DARK comedy of game shows, greed and consumerism is coming to Bolton.

Written by A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess, One Hand Clapping has been adapted for the stage by Lucia Cox and will begin its autumn tour at the Octagon Theatre, next Thursday.

Lucia, who set up theatre and film company House of Orphans, said she was attracted to the play due to its strong, funny and energetic female narrator who is determined to ensure her survival in spite of destructive forces beyond her control.

Burgess’ disgust at the Americanisation of contemporary Western education and culture prompted him to write the 1961 novel.

Lucia, who is from Burnley and is now based in Manchester, said: “I think it was the thought of the popular culture and people worshipping quiz show hosts and reading tabloid journalism — nobody read books anymore.

“No-one cared about art or the great writers anymore.

“Everyone, instead of worshipping people who had created novels or poems, people were worshipping quiz shows.

“He thought it was all abhorrent.

“I think it’s one of those plays that will work really well in the smaller Northern towns.

“The storyline is about a working class couple whose humdrum life gets turned upside down when the husband — who’s got a photographic memory — wins a quiz show and all this money.

“He decides to take his wife on a once in a lifetime trip around the world to spend all the money and prove that no amount of money can make the world a better place.”

Lucia regularly watches productions at the Octagon, including the current play Journey’s End, but it is the first time she will have staged a piece there.

She said: “I’m so excited about it.

“I hope it’s the first of many because it’s a great space.”

The play, which is 120 minutes with no interval, was originally commissioned by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, set up to encourage and support interest in the Manchester-born writer.

Lucia said: “It reminds me of watching Tales of the Unexpected.

“It’s got one of those really dark twists.

“It’s unusual to see this woman who kind of starts off knowing little about the world and not really caring too much.

“It’s really darkly funny as well.”

As well as A Clockwork Orange, Burgess’ 1962 novel of masculinity and ultra-violence — made into the controversial 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick — he wrote 32 novels, 25 works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, more than 150 other musical works and reams of journalism.

One Hand Clapping, with Eve Burley as Janet Shirley and Oliver Devoti as Howard Shirley, is at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, on Thursday, September 25.

Tickets cost £10 or £8 concessions, call 01204 520661 or visit octagonbolton.co.uk.