Bolton's Mayor adds Octagon to charities

Published: 7 August 2020
Reporter: David Upton

Bolton Mayor, Cllr Linda Thomas

The Mayor of Bolton has included the town’s Octagon Theatre amongst her chosen charities, while the theatre itself has launched a podcast.

The venue was due to reopen this summer after two years of major redevelopment. Due to COVID-19, this has been delayed which has led to more than £500,000 in lost income for the charity.

In response, the theatre launched the Octagon Future Fund in late May and has raised more than £48,000 from nearly 500 individuals accompanied with messages of support.

Bolton Mayor Councillor Linda Thomas commented, “I am proud to say I have chosen the Octagon as one of my mayoral charities. I can remember over 30 years ago watching Mike Harding and our own Bernard Wrigley performing in an incredible Waiting for Godot. In more recent times, And Did those Feet telling the story of Bolton Wanderers in the 1920s. Our very own Fred Dibnah play was performed here and who could ever forget the spectacular, award-winning Singin’ in the Rain?

“With Bolton Council and Arts Council support, we’ve just refurbished this fantastic theatre, and we will hope the people of Bolton and wider area will help and support us to make sure our theatre remains for the next 50 years. The youth, community and education work is nationally acclaimed so not only would theatre be lost but all of these activities, so important to the people of Bolton.”

Meanwhile, a new Octagon Theatre Podcast has been launched with a four-part mini-series from actor Amy Nuttall, performer / composer Maimuna Memon, playwright Jim Cartwright and actor Marc Small.

The podcast promises to keep listeners up to date with the Octagon’s activities, make careers in the theatre sector more transparent and celebrate what’s going on in Bolton and the North West.

Hosts Lotte Wakeham (artistic director) and Alex Joynes (creative engagement coordinator) interview the special guests who have a link to the Octagon. Along the way, Lotte and Alex will answer listeners’ questions, sharing advice about careers in theatre, and giving recommendations of things to read, watch and listen to this summer.

The podcast episodes are released weekly.