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Tag Archives: The Octagon

The Threepenny Opera – The Octagon, Bolton

Book and Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht Music: Kurt Weill and Elizabeth Hauptmann Director: David Thacker   Reviewer: Harriet Mallion Adapted from John Gay’s 18th-century ballad opera, The Beggar’s Opera, Bertolt Brecht’s iconic play The Threepenny Opera traditionally offers a socialist critique to a struggling world. The latest production from The Octagon transforms the dominant themes of poverty and corruption into a ...

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Winter Hill – The Octagon, Bolton

Six middle-aged women huddle together taking a selfie

Writer: Timberlake Wertenbaker Director: Elizabeth Newman Reviewer: Harriet Mallion Winter Hill is a familiar landmark in the North West, its shining beacon is a glowing reminder of lofty heights, wet, wild nature and windswept moors. From a romanticised view of this iconic landmark is born a new production from writer Timberlake Wertenbaker which imagines a no-so-distant future where the pristine ...

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Private Lives – The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: Noel Coward Director:Elizabeth Newman Reviewer: Dave Cunningham   According to Noel Coward there are no limits to the depravity to which, if circumstances allow, we might descend in ourPrivate Lives. Divorced couple Elyot (Harry Long) and Amanda (Fiona Hampton) had a tempestuous marriage in which physical violence from both parties was a feature. Both have now remarried but when ...

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Hindle Wakes – The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: Stanley Houghton Director: David Thacker Reviewer: Dave Cunningham After a run of intense dramas The Octagon opts for a lighter mood with Stanley Houghton’s 1912 comedy/drama Hindle Wakes. The Hawthorn family are scandalised to learn that their unmarried daughter Fanny (Natasha Davidson) spent the wakes holiday with the son of the local mill owner. The families unite to discuss ...

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Journey’s End – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: R C Sherriff Director: David Thacker Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Tensions mount in the trenches during World War 1. Rumours of a massive German offensive abound and the rigours of command have made the dedicated Stanhope (James Dutton) increasingly dependent upon alcohol. Steadfast Osborne (David Birrell) worries that the arrival of Raleigh (Tristan Brooke) who hero-worships Stanhope will make bad ...

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Brassed Off– The Octagon, Bolton

Writer: Mark Herman Adapter:Paul Allen Director: Damian Cruden Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Adaptations of films to the stage can be a lazy way of achieving quick audience approval. The expectations of the audience are easy to satisfy as they are determined by what they have seen in the past. Brassed Off, Paul Allen’s stage adaptation of Mark Herman’s screenplay, is a ...

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Robin Hood – The Octagon, Bolton

Writer: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm Composer and Musical Director: Barbara Hockaday Director: Elizabeth Newman Reviewer: Dave Cunningham [Rating:3.5] The Octagon has an enviable reputation for staging festive productions that are a bracing change from the usual bland pantos. This year, however, you can’t help but wish they had retained a few of the traditional elements such as a simple villain you ...

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An Inspector Calls – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Director: David Thacker Designer: Ruari Murchison Reviewer: Dave Cunningham [rating:4] With a riveting story and a single set An Inspector Calls is a staple of regional theatre. The status of self –made industrialist Arthur Birling (Brian Protheroe) and his wife Sybil (Margot Leicester) as respected pillars of their community is challenged by a mysterious Inspector Goole (David Prosho). The Inspector ...

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