BESTSELLING author Jodi Picoult has called on people to join her in supporting the Octagon theatre during the pandemic ­— describing it as one of the ' crown jewels' of UK theatre.

The internationally renowned writer is part of the team bringing the world premiere musical stage adaptation of the acclaimed Markus Zusak's novel The Book Thief to the Octagon Theatre.

The Bolton News:

Set in Germany during World War II, The Book Thief centres of a young orphan girl whose foster family hide a Jewish man. He teaches her the power of reading and writing.

The production should have shown early next year as part of the Octagon's exciting reopening season, but has been postponed due to the pandemic.

In a special video the writer of My Sister's Keeper and Small Great Things speaks about her love of theatre and the importance of supporting the Bolton theatre.

She said: "I think that now, more than ever, we are realizing how critical theatre is. During a pandemic, we all feel isolated and certain we are the only ones who feel the way we do — but live theatre reminds us that emotions can be shared in a group setting. That we can laugh and cry and learn and grow together, as an audience, in front of performers.

"It’s one of the reasons that in addition to writing novels, I have begun writing librettos for musical theatre — and one of those, The Book Thief, will be having its world premiere at the Octagon in Bolton. It has been postponed because of Covid-19, like so many other productions, but I am excited for live theatre to come roaring back one day as soon as it is safe to do so.

"Until then, however, we need to recognize that if we want theatres to be here when the pandemic ends, we need to be here for those theatres now.

"I’m so pleased to support the Save Our Theatres campaign, and to encourage valuable and crucial support for precious venues across the UK to survive the Covid-19 crisis.

"Please join me and support the campaign today, so that we can together look forward to live theatrical performances in the future.

Jodi was one of the first to pledge support for the Octagon Future Fund. People can also get involved by becoming a member or Patron.

The Bolton News:

Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham, pictured above, said: “I’m so grateful to Jodi for the support she has shown the Octagon and to everyone who has helped us get this far. It was disappointing to have to postpone the world premiere of The Book Thief due to the pandemic, but I’d like to reassure audiences that the show will go ahead and we will keep you posted as soon as we have more information on new dates. I can’t wait to bring this incredible story to life on stage here in Bolton and I assure you it will be worth the wait!”

The Octagon is inviting people to become a member or patron to support the theatre through this challening time.

The Bolton News:

Chief Executive Roddy Gauld, pictured, said: “I want to thank Jodi and everyone who has supported the Octagon through this challenging time. The money we raised through the Future Fund appeal is a testament to how much the Octagon means to so many and what a vital resource the theatre is for Bolton.

"With social distancing still in place, the theatre continues a difficult journey over the coming months. "Typically, we need to sell 75% of our seats for productions to be financially viable with social distancing our capacity could be reduced to as little as 25 per cent.

"We hope the #SaveOurTheatre campaign will help raise funds and awareness for the challenges facing theatres and the whole of the live events sector across the world. Please if you can, consider supporting the Octagon today – so we can all look forward to the magic of live theatre again in Bolton in the future.”

To find out more about the #SaveOurTheatre campaign visit

To find out more or join as an Octagon Member or Patron visit