MEMORIES and stories will be shared as a Bolton institution celebrates its 50th year.

The Octagon theatre is welcoming fans and visitors to help it look back over five decades in the community.

A day of fun is being prepared for its Birthday Open Day when it will celebrate the theatre made in the town.

On November 26 — the day before its anniversary date — there will be free family activities, including face-painting, technical demonstrations, a costume exhibition and, of course, and cake.

Artistic director Elizabeth Newman said: “There are so many memories and stories to share and celebrate from audiences, visitors, participants and staff from over the past 50 years at the Octagon.

“Our theatre is made up of so many special moments that would not have been achievable without the people of Bolton and beyond and the sense of community and love of theatre that they have shared with us.

“It is a huge privilege to be the artistic director of the Octagon as it turns 50 and to be working with such an amazing team of people to help rejoice in the theatre’s past and to ensure that we continue making world-class and world-changing theatre in Bolton.

“It’s incredibly important for us to open up the theatre to the public for our birthday; it’s because of them that we have made it to 50 and they’re the reason why we will strive to keep sharing stories right here, in the heart of Bolton, for another 50 years.

“So, we are throwing all of our doors open for you all to come and have a joyous time with us — we hope to see you there!”

Activities run from 11.30am to 3.30pm with events including free backstage tours to see behind the scenes of a producing theatre, as well as seeing what the Octagon’s interior looks like before it is renovated during its redevelopment project in 2018-2019.

Visitors can also dress up and take photos in our theatrical photobooth or enjoy a trip down memory lane, looking at a collection of photos from over the Octagon’s 50 year history.

In the Octagon’s bar, there’s an interactive installation called ‘The Big Corner’, where visitors and audience members can write their memories of the Octagon on postcards.

No party would be complete without a game of pass the parcel and the theatre will host its own ‘giant’ one every hour between noon and 3pm in the main auditorium.

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