Our Country's Good for Bolton
Bolton Octagon's opening presentation of the forthcoming season is Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, running from September 3 to 22.
The co-production by the Octagon and Out of Joint, and presented in London by Karl Sydow, will be directed by Max Stafford-Clark.
The Octagon's 2012-2013 Season opens with a play that asserts the value of theatre and its redemptive power. Max directed the world premiere of Our Country's Good at the Royal Court Theatre in 1988, then in the West End and on Broadway. It won the Olivier Award for Play of the Year in 1988.
Stafford-Clark commented: "When we were preparing for its first production, Timberlake and I visited Wormwood Scrubs to see a Howard Barker play performed by prisoners. They performed it with total commitment. As we left, we heard them repeating their lines to each other, calling from cell to cell. At a time when once again the arts are being assaulted by mindless cuts it is particularly exciting to return to this thrilling play."
It is set in Australia in 1789. An ambitious young lieutenant, Ralph Clark, is set the task of directing newly-arrived convicts in the Restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer in celebration of the King's birthday.
Following the Octagon run, Our Country's Good will tour to venues across the UK, as well as The Hague (Netherlands), before playing at London's prestigious new St James Theatre next year.
The cast includes Ian Redford, who played Keith Appleyard for two years in Coronation Street, and Damola Adelaja who appeared in Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre production of A Raisin in the Son, which won the 2010 Manchester Theatre Award for Best production. They will be joined by Laura Dos Santos who played the lead role in Educating Rita in the West End, and was nominated for Outstanding Newcomer at the 2010 Evening Standard Awards.