Friday, 28 September 2007

Bolton Win FA Cup Final!

And Did Those Feet, the story of Bolton's journey the the 1923 FA Cup Final, opened last night and seems to have been well-received by the audience. Apparently some die-hard BWFC fans even turned up in full kit, such is their dedication!

I managed to to get a look in at the dress rehearsal and despite my apathetic approach to football, there was plenty in this production to keep my attention. The clogging is great and I loved the homage to silent movies that were so popular at the time! On the subject of movies, I hope to upload a 'talkie' about the production next week, so you can have a look.

In the meantime have at look at some of Ian Tilton's lovely shots of the production below:

Jeff Hordley (Ted) 'avin a brew!

Chris Finch (Billy) modelling the BWFC kit.

The cast (clockwise: Hayley Jayne Standing (Martha), Jeff Hordley (Ted), Martin Barrass (Bob), James Quinn (Alf), Susan Twist (Hilda) and Paul Simpson (Jim)) get ready for the FA Cup final!!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Page 3 Girls!

Not normally ones to hog the spotlight, there is a nice article in The Bolton News on our intrepid Stage Management teams own journey to bring the FA Cup home to Bolton. Don't they look lovely? You can read the whole article here! Plus you can see the photo above in glorious technicolour.

And in other football related news, we have a special guest and very well known Bolton Wanderers face coming to press night on Friday!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Your Chance To Take The Spotlight

Would you like the chance to be on stage at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton? Join the activ8 Youth Theatre and learn new skills, make new friends and get the chance to perform! Who knows where that might lead?

Two of our Anniversary season patrons Maxine Peake and Jeff Hordley were both involved in the Youth Theatre and are now household names. You can see Jeff talking about his involvement with activ8 here.

To mark the success of activ8 Breightmet and activ8 Great Lever the participants performed at the annual activ8 showcase in the main auditorium at the Octagon Theatre in July. We are now looking to recruit some new members, so why not join us for a taster session?

Participation in the youth theatre is FREE and open to anyone aged between 10 and 14. You don't have to have any previous experience, just an interest in drama. To join the group just come along to one of the sessions highlighted below. For more information you can contact our activ8 department on 01204 556501.

Where: Withins School (you do not need to be a pupil at Withins School to attend)
When: Thursday afternoons during term time.
Time: 4 - 5.30pm

Where: Nightingale Centre
When: Monday afternoons during term time
Time: 4 - 5.30pm

Friday, 21 September 2007

A Mixed Musical Medley

With mellow vibes, musical magic, madness and/or mayhem (I'll leave it to you to decide which events deserve the adjectives above!) October brings with it a diverse line-up of events kicking off with Arun Ghosh.

Arun's show has been described as a rhythmic recipe of clarinet, vocal and keyboards or in other words it "layers twisted tablatroncis, skylarking sequencers and samplers, freaky drones and electro tones plus a dash of desi to produce deep down 'n' dirty beat-up jazz with the passion of punk". For those of you that are as illiterate with the intricacies of musical composition and production as I, you might wanted to actually listen to some of his tunes to understand the blurb above.
Arun is also composing the music for our upcoming production of And Did Those Feet, so I, for one, will be fascinated to see the outcome. Seeing as the play was set in the 1920's I am assuming the electro tones and freaky drones will be toned down somewhat, unless he is planning a punk/jazz mash-up of Jerusalem?!! You can read an interview with Arun in the show's programme.

Next up, we welcome back Moore Marriott.
Their lyrical, tuneful, idiosyncratic songs invite comparison with Neil Finn, Ed Harcourt and Badly Drawn Boy but don't take my word for it. Why not decide for yourself and have a listen?
The combination of the infectious, captivating music and the heady, intimate atmosphere of the Bill Naughton Studio Theatre is a promising recipe for another sell-out performance.

And last by no means least of the musical trio, Mundo Jazz. When they are not saving Texas, and fighting capitalism, they are dedicated to preaching peace, love and understanding! And if you think that all sounds a bit heavy, then perhaps you need to have a look at this. Peace Out.....

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Talking Pants Is Far From Pants

Talking Pants is now a 5* Edinburgh show direct from the Fringe. The Edinburgh Evening News wrote:

"The show includes things like 'Humpty Dumpty: was he pushed or did he fall?' and
'How Did Dinosaurs scratch their heads?' plus lots of other silly and funny things. Ian Billings uses his imagination to create this hilarious show where the audience is allowed to join in by shouting out. I thought the show was funny, silly and I have never seen anything like it. I laughed at nearly every part and Ian Billings was brilliant, even though he had to do it all on his own.

If you like bags of gags and puns then you'll love Talking Pants."
Sammi Bridgman, Royal High Primary School.

It's great to see a young audience member reviewing the show for the local paper. If you fancy yourself as a theatre reviewer would like to share your views on Talking Pants or any of our Children's Theatre Saturday events, you can email me at

Talking Pants will be at the Octagon on Saturday 22nd September. You can click here for more information or to book online.

Lisa's Sex Strike - The Movie!

Below is a short film promo for Lisa's Sex Strike to give you a taste of the production. There is footage from the production itself, a glimpse at rehearsals and the Director, Conrad Nelson, talking about the show. Have a look......

Thanks must go to Donna Gidman, the video producer, for all her help. She has done a great job getting the filming and editing completed in super-quick time.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Lisa's Sex Strike - What's Being Said...

You can read what is being said about Lisa's Sex Strike in the Guardian here and Manchester Evening News here. The Guardian have also published an article about the history of the sex strike - have a read.

Blake Morrison also recently featured on Radio 4's Woman's Hour and you can listen to it here.

And if the above isn't enough to wet your whistle, we are in the process of pulling together a short film which we will post on the blog soon (technology permitting!).

If you have seen the show why not let us know your thoughts by posting a comment or emailing your thoughts to