Talk about offering something for everyone - the Octagon Theatre has pulled out all the stops for its spring/summer programme which has been announced today.

From raucous northern comedy to a monstrous rock and roll musical, a brand new work and a literary classic the new season really does have something for everyone.

Artistic director Lotte Wakeham said: “At the Octagon we pride ourselves on offering captivating, magical and thrilling theatrical experiences for audiences of all ages and we cannot wait to welcome even more people through our doors in 2024.”

The Bolton News: Northanger Abbey

Getting the season underway is a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey which runs from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 23. This new adaptation by Zoe Cooper is a co-production with Orange Tree Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre and Theatre by the Lake.

Then, one of the world’s greatest entertainers is celebrated in Houdini’s Greatest Escape (April 3-6) an hilarious 39 Steps-esque thriller featuring physical comedy and mind-blowing illusions.

The Bolton News: Bouncers

Classic comedy is next on the bill in John Godber’s hysterical northern favourite, Bouncers (April 9 to 20) performed by the John Godber Company. Octagon audiences will be taken back to the 80s when disco was king, and everyone lived for the weekend.

The Octagon’s artistic director Lotte Wakeham will direct a new production of the sci-fi musical Little Shop of Horrors (April 24 to May 18) which will be followed by a compelling new play Testmatch.

The Bolton News: Testmatch premieres at the Octagon

Running from May 23 to June 1, this provocative and funny play by Kate Atwell explores the mythology of fair play when cricket’s past and present collide. It is set during present day Lord’s at the Women’s Cricket World Cup and early 19th century India.

The Bolton News: Dracula

Bram Stoker’s best-selling novel gets a hilarious re-telling in the brand-new comedy theatre show, Dracula: The Bloody Truth (June 11 to 29).

The Bolton News: Jungle Book

The Octagon has also revealed that its 2024 festive show, will be an enchanting new musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book which will run from November 22 to January 4.

Before all that, the Octagon will bring the current season to a gripping conclusion with a compelling new production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (February 1 to 24).

As well as the main productions, there will also be a fantastic selection of music, comedy and entertainment for 2024.

Acclaimed actor Barrie Rutter will present Shakespeare’s Royals (March 10) in which he shares personal experiences of playing some of the Bard’s most famous characters.

Among the musical treats lined up in the new season, Truly Collins (January 13) celebrates the music of Phil Collins and Genesis; Something About George - The George Harrison Story return to Bolton on March 17 and later in the month (March 27) The Ronnie Scott’s Story combines live music with rare recordings and video footage fro the world-famous London club.

Rounding things off on April 14, Richard Shelton stars in the award-winning show Sinatra: Raw.

Comedy lovers will be well served by the Octagon’s regular comedy club nights and for young theatregoers and families, two popular children’s books will be brought to life on stage.

Spot’s Birthday Party will be staged from March 28 to 20 and Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling tale The Gruffalo comes to life from October 3 to 5.

Lotte Wakeham said: “We are heading into 2024 with a bang, as we announce an incredibly exciting and varied new season.

“As well as innovative new plays such as Testmatch, we’re continuing our commitment to brilliant adaptations of beloved stories, including a bold and unique new reimagining of Jane Austen’s romantic novel Northanger Abbey, a brilliantly fast-paced, farcical comedic adaptation of Dracula, and a joyful new musical adaptation of The Jungle Book to entertain families for Christmas 2024.

“Our audiences have fed back that they love musicals and live music, so I’m also thrilled that we are going to be staging a brand-new production of the hugely popular rock ‘n’ roll musical, Little Shop of Horrors.

“We will once again be teaming up with some brilliant producing partners and countless incredible artists. We’ll also have the very best in music, comedy and entertainment from some of the UK’s best touring productions.”

Tickets for the new season go on general sale from 11am on Wednesday. For more information or to book tickets visit