THE drama, joy and excitement of a live theatre production can be experienced once more as the Octagon prepares to raise the curtain on its new play.

In a first-of-its-kind production for the Octagon, the theatre will be live-streaming Shakespeare's farcical comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, as it remains shut to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bolton theatre has teamed up with the award winning Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) to present the special adaptation based on GSC’s 2017 acclaimed open air production, which was directed by the Octagon’s artistic director, Lotte Wakeham, who also directs this latest online version.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream features some of Shakespeare’s best loved characters, including Bottom the weaver, who is transformed into an amorous donkey, and Puck the mischievous fairy, whose misguided love potions cause hilarious results.

The 75-minute performance, which will be live streamed on Zoom, features a cast of six actors, in an innovative production where they will be performing from their homes.

GSC have previously produced online versions of The Wind in the Willows and a number of Murder Mystery evenings.

Lotte said: “We’ve had fantastic feedback from our audiences about other online content produced by the Octagon during lockdown, so it felt like a natural next step to try a full production, live on Zoom!

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a favourite with our audiences, and this 75 minute version will be perfect for all ages. I’m delighted to be collaborating with the Guildford Shakespeare Company again, who truly are experts in this field of Zoom productions.

“I’m also very excited to be working with a brilliant cast of northern and southern actors, who I’m confident will provide a magical evening of entertainment for our audiences.”

GSC co-Founder, Matt Pinches, who is also performing in the play, added: “Our especially made online events have proved incredibly popular and it has been joyous to see families and friends able to come together to share a live experience in these toughest of times.

“We desperately wanted to stage a Shakespeare play in this format and Dream, with its accessible storyline, beautiful speeches and laugh-out-loud comedy, was an obvious choice.

“We have previously worked with Lotte when she directed a truly magical show for us in 2017 and so it seemed a natural union to make with Bolton.”

Starring in it will be Jack Whitam, who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Emma Fenney, Sarah Gobran, Matt Pinches, Misha Duncan-Barry and Nathan Ives-Moiba, who was nominated for the ‘Best Newcomer Award’ at the Manchester Theatre Awards for his performance in Tull at the Octagon, and most recently performed in the Octagon’s 2018 production of And Did Those Feet.

Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream will go on sale on September 3 with priority booking for members from September 1.

The play will run from September 24 to 27.

Tickets will be priced at £20 per device, with a maximum two people per device, and £10 per additional viewer.

For more information or to book tickets visit or ring 01204 520661.