THE Octagon has used a little bit of tech-magic so people can once experience the joy of live theatre.

The venue will stage Shakespeare’s much loved comedy Midsummer Night’s Dream this week ­­— when it will be ‘zoomed’ into people’s living rooms.

Lockdown restrictions mean the Octagon’s new multi-million pound base remains closed ­— so the theatre is using the online platform Zoom to bring live theatre to audiences.

Octagon’s artistic director Lotte Wakeham said: “What is exciting to me is that the actors are performing live, it is not like watching a pre-recorded show­— it’s all happening in front of you. I think is it the closet experience you would get to a live theatre performance ­— other than being in a theatre.

“We have had bookings from people in America, in Belgium. I think there is something just really magical about the fact that you are sitting in your own home to watch this show with other people, now just from Bolton but from all over world, who are tuning in. Right at the start of the show the audience will get a little glimpse of some of the other people watching.”

The play has been co-produced by the Guildford Shakespeare Company. And it was after watching the company’s live Zoom production of Wind in the Willows during lockdown, Lotte was inspired to do a live online production

“I had a really good experience as an audience member,” said Lotte, “I just had a great time because it was live and you felt as if you were a part of the event.”

The production is 75 minutes long.

Lotte said: “It is very family friendly often I recommend it to people as their first Shakespeare play, I think it the one that is most accessible because it is the most fun, the characters are just amazing and it is a quite a straightforward plot to follow through as well.

“Great if it is your first time watching Shakespeare but equally if you are big Shakespeare fan, it is always nice to see a new production of a play that you know well as well.”

The actors are performing in their homes with a green screen, which is used to create the visual effects.

“It is the first Zoom production I have directed, it has been so fascinating I feel as if I have learned a lot during rehearsals,” said Lotte. “It is quite different to directing actors in person but it works really well ­— the visual tricks have been really fun.” The play opens on Thursday and runs until October 2. To book visit