Newman to leave Octagon for Scotland

Published: 9 June 2018
Reporter: David Chadderton

Octagon Theatre Bolton's Elizabeth Newman is to leave the theatre after ten years, the last three as Artistic Director, to take over as Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre in Scotland.

During her tenure as Artistic Director, as well as directing work on stage, she has delivered artistic programmes including the National Octagon Prize, work with Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Best of Bolton, Dinner Parties, Community and Young People Productions, Open Days, REVEAL Festival, Dementia Programme, Octagon Academy, Storyplay for early years and large-scale events such as the Octagon Pleasure Beach. Last year, she was named Bolton’s Woman of the Year for her contribution to the town.

Newman said, "it has been a great privilege to be the Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre Bolton. I have loved every minute of my time here—making theatre with and for everyone in this brilliant town. I have worked alongside fantastic people. Every day I have been inspired by their spirit, skill and generosity.

"We have achieved a great deal together in recent years. I am really looking forward to returning to see how the Octagon will have grown and developed this important work. There are exciting times ahead in Bolton."

Chief Executive Roddy Gauld commented, “Elizabeth has made a remarkable contribution to the Octagon. As Associate Director she championed and led our new writing and as Artistic Director she has strived to make the Octagon as inclusive as possible for the Bolton community.

"Audiences have loved her musicals and classic adaptations, and the 50th anniversary season was a box office triumph. Her energy and dedication have always shone through and inspired everyone who has met and worked with her. She leaves a great legacy, having played a key role in reimagining our theatre for the future and planning our season of work out and about in Bolton.

"Everyone at the Octagon wishes her every success in her next adventure."

Newman will remain in post to direct the community production of Gulliver’s Travels at Queens Park this summer.