THE Octagon has announced it will be reopening its theatre doors this month as lockdown restrictions ease allowing it to welcome back audiences.

It will more than two years since the Octagon closed, first for refurbishment, but the show went on in other venues, including Queens Park ­— and then when it was about to showcase the multi-million pound transformation the pandemic took hold.

The theatre has announced its programme of events, including its first main house production The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Modern auditorium at the Octagon

Modern auditorium at the Octagon

The Octagon is hosting a series of 'Warm Up' events including a monologue, stand-up comedy, live music, play readings and family entertainment all forming part of the" unmissable programme", starting May 26, with the Sherlock Holmes play opening on July 1.

Lotte Wakeham

Lotte Wakeham

Octagon's artistic director Lotte Wakeham said: “It’s a joy to finally be able to share the full details of the Octagon’s reopening. Our summer Warm Up season promises plenty for audiences of all ages to look forward to with a wide-ranging programme of new writing, comedy, music, play readings and family entertainment.

" I’m delighted to announce that our first full production in the reimagined Octagon will be a hilarious adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, in which the classic Sherlock Holmes story will be reimagined as an incredibly funny, fast paced, knockabout comedy. I’m confident it will be exactly the kind of show that will delight audiences, having being away from live theatre for so long, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to experience a great night out at the Octagon.

“Our Warm Up season will give us the first opportunity to showcase our brand new building,

as well as present some wonderful outdoor performances and activities taking place at

locations across Bolton this summer.

"This past year has reminded us more than ever of the importance and need for live theatre, and with restrictions now lifting and theatres able to resume live performances we cannot wait to share the laughs, drama, fun and sheer joy that comes from being part of that experience.” The "Warm Up" programme opens with a moving new one act play See You at the Octagon, opening on May 26. For full details visit or the Octagon website.

Chief Executive at the Octagon Theatre,Roddy Gauld ..Pictured by Richard Holton.Copyright,Bolton News (Newsquest) 28th October 2015..Saiqa Chaudhari.......

Chief Executive at the Octagon Theatre,Roddy Gauld 

The Octagon Chief Executive, Roddy Gauld added: “After two years of redevelopment and

then a global pandemic, we are really excited to now reopen our doors and welcome our

audiences, participants and the community back to the Octagon.

“The last couple of months have been really busy behind the scenes as we added the finishing

touches to the building and finalised our opening plans.

"We’re really grateful to everyone who has supported the Octagon during our redevelopment and then Covid-19.

"From Bolton Council and Arts Council England, through to every individual donor, people have come together to secure the future of Bolton’s theatre for generations to come."


The Bolton News:

The full programme:

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, which will run from Thu 1 July – Sat 7 August.

World renowned detective Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson are assigned to

unravel the mystery surrounding the untimely death of Sir Charles Baskerville in this brilliantly

farcical adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel.

The Bolton News:

SEE YOU AT THE OCTAGON (Wed 26 May – Tue 15 June) by local stage and screen

writer Becky Prestwich. This specially commissioned monologue is a story about the people

and the town of Bolton, inspired by the public responses to the Octagon’s Eight Questions

questionnaire, which draws on memories shared of the past year and hopes for the future.

See You at the Octagon captures the laughs, friendships and overwhelming community spirit that has touched people’s lives and celebrates audiences coming together to experience live


The Bolton News:

JUSTIN MOORHOUSE AND FRIENDS WARM UP THE BUILDING (Fri 11 June). Manchester-born comedian, actor, writer and radio presenter Justin Moorhouse hosts a line-up featuring some of the finest and funniest up and coming local comedians, including: Tez Ilyes, Jamie Hutchinson and Rachel Fairburn, for what promises to be an unmissable night of pure comedy gold.

The Octagon’s hugely popular First Bite play reading series makes a welcome return. The

‘script-in-hand’ readings give audiences the opportunity to see actors perform brand new


THIS TREE IS FOR THE CHOP (Fri 28 May) by Hannah Wilkin,

FAKE (Tue 1 June) by Robert Hudson,

BROWNBALLED (Wed 9 June) by Adam Kotwal produced in association with Tamasha (I Wanna Be Yours),

INDIA PALE ALE (Wed 16 June) by Jaclyn Backhaus and OR, (Fri 18 June) by Liz Duffy Adams.

In partnership with MACFEST (Muslim Arts and Culture Festival), the Octagon have commissioned three artists of Muslim heritage: actor and writer Shamia Chalabi, writer Shahid Iqbal Khan and actor, musician and writer Maimuna Memon, to create an exciting range of digital work which will be available to watch online from Mon 14 June.

The Bolton News:

A night of live music with FEELS LIKE HOME WITH MINA ANWAR & THE DAVE BINTLEY TRIO (Sat 5 June).

This intimate evening of song and chat features a dazzling repertoire of musical numbers from jazz to show tunes, as Mina shares some of her favourite songs.

SHOWSTOPPER! THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL (Sat 19 June). Taking suggestions from the audience, this Olivier Award-winning touring improvisational troupe will weave a brand new musical live on stage, complete with hilarious characters, fabulous dance routines, beautiful songs, epic storylines, all sprinkled with the pizzazz of a Broadway show where every night is a world premiere.

The Octagon is also a partner venue for the inaugural RIGHT TO ROAM FESTIVAL (Fri 16 &

Sat 17 July) a new multi venue music and arts festival coming to Bolton this summer, featuring

a spectacular line-up of live music from the region’s brightest rising musicians, bands and artists.

The Octagon will be touring to communities across Bolton when later in the summer there will also be fun for all the family as vibrant and exciting outdoor performance company The Fabularium bring their acclaimed show REYNARD THE FOX (Fri 30 July – Sun 8 August) to outdoor spaces across Bolton. Telling the tale of Reynard, the animal kingdom’s most infamous scoundrel, it combines exciting visuals, storytelling, puppetry and original live music that is certain to entertain audiences of all ages. Full details of performance venues and dates will be announced soon.