Friday, 30 October 2009

Ghosts - production photos...

Ghosts previewed last night and I am writing this as I listen to a matinee performance via Theatre FM [the in-house sound system]. I am looking forward to seeing some of the dynamite cast from All My Sons again [George, Margot, Oscar and Vanessa] and the new addition the very charming Russell Richardson. I had a good chat with Russell last night about the show and how he has been working with Vanessa to help her with her Lancashire accent.

Vanessa has also been doing her research and recording the accents of a few of my Boltonian colleagues (yes Parvati and Marie I am talking about you) so it will be interesting to see what they think of her trying out their words. Her are a few pictures.

MEN award nominations

There was much giddiness on Friday at the Octagon as not only was it press night (hence my delay in posting this) it was also the MEN Theatre Awards 2009 nomination announcement. As they say at the Oscars, the nominations (for the Octagon Theatre Bolton) are:








OSCAR PEARCE, in All My Sons


KOSHA ENGLER, in Oleanna


NICK HAVERSON, in The Venetian Twins

TIM HEALY, in Looking For Buddy



ALL MY SONS, directed by David Thacker

OLEANNA, directed by Iqbal Khan

You can read the full rundown here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Special Offer! Under 26s Free Tickets for Preview Night of Ibsen’s Ghosts

As a loyal blog reader we are delighted to offer any under 26s out there FREE tickets to the opening night of Ghosts on Thursday 29 October 2009. Please see below for more infomation on the show and details of how to claim your tickets.

Preview Night
Thurs 29 October 2009

Octagon Theatre Bolton presents

by Henrik Ibsen
Director: David Thacker
Designer: Patrick Connellan

Written in 1881, Ghosts was deliberately sensational. Ibsen's contemporaries regarded it as shockingly indecent. An English critic described it as ‘a dirty deed done in public’

“Skeletons are not so much rattled as violently forced out”
The Independent

“What is shocking is its perpetual relevance to the present”
The Guardian

Oswald is a young artist who has come back home after a long period abroad. His mother is an educated, Victorian woman, whose radical views are in sharp contrast to the prevailing attitudes in this conservative, northern town. Oswald’s return and the disturbing news he brings leads to a chain of events that reveals the underlying corruption of this apparently respectable society and leads to a shocking climax. The power and depth of this play had a profound influence on Arthur Miller’s development as a playwright. Ghosts is gripping, deeply moving and astonishingly modern.

How to Claim your Tickets

To book your under 26s Free Preview Night Ticket contact our Ticket Office on 01204 520661 quoting ‘Under 26s Free Preview Offer’. You will need to bring your proof of age with you when you collect your tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: These tickets are only available via our Ticket Office and are not available online. This special offer is available on the evening of Thurs 29 October 2009 only and tickets are limited and are subject to availability.

If you can't make it to preview night you can still see take advantage of the Under 26s Free Tickets scheme as follows:

Option 1: Are you aged under 26? There are a limited number of under 26s free theatre tickets available for general public on Monday night performances during the run. Call our Ticket Office on 01204 520661 to claim. These tickets are not available online.

Option 2: Do you have an NUS or student card? If you are under 26, a student and can provide an NUS or student card you could receive free tickets to Ghosts on any weekday evening performance. Contact Marie Irving-Murphy on 01204 529407 or email and quote 'Student FTI' to get your free tickets.

Please note that Student Free Tickets are not available via our Ticket Office number or online so please contact Marie on the number or email above.


Having just mentioned Corin Redgrave will be returning to the Octagon soon it brought something to mind that was once of those weird coincidences.

We had a Comms Away Day yesterday to do some planning, look at the needs to the department and our job roles etc but we decided to take it away from the office. We went to the Lowry for the afternoon. Currently, at the Lowry as well the The Sea: LS Lowry and Maggi Hambling (an exhibition of Lowry's work that focuses on the sea as well as other artists watery images) there is also an exhibition of famous faces, mainly in theatre roles taken on the last half-hour before curtain up which were quite lovely, intimate and interesting.

Anyhoo (this does have a point I swear) during a break from all that planning, we had a mooch around the exhibition and played 'Guess the Famous Face'. A little theatre-related visual quiz if you will. On our way round, I am ashamed to say I came undone on a very famous face. I knew the face and I just couldn't think of the name.....the actor? It was none other than Vanessa Redgrave and funnily enough it was a photo of her in a production of Ghosts from the Young Vic, directed by none other than our very own David Thacker! So if you want to see Corin's sister as well as a whole other host of famous faces in varying guises then mooch over to the Lowry. If you want to see a Redgrave in the flesh come and see Corin in Trumbo here in our Studio.....

Corin Redgrave returns to the Octagon Theatre

Further to his successful and much admired performance of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, I am delighted to tell you that one of the nation’s most experienced stage and screen stars returns to Bolton. Corin Redgrave will be performing, for one night only, in Trumbo in which he plays the legendary Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Despite his prolific output of scripts, from the 1930s to the 1970s, including Exodus, and the Oscar-winning Roman Holiday and Spartacus, Trumbo’s identity as writer was concealed as a consequence of being blacklisted for his political allegiances. When he stood up to the House Un-American Activities in 1947, he was imprisoned.

"He doesn't bang on about his political convictions at all," Redgrave explains. "He was a very witty, complex man. For me, one of the saddest things was that he was intensely American in attitude. He thought his country was the land of freedom, where you could say what you wanted to say. So, for him, to be judged un-American was one of the greatest insults."

Corin Redgrave is the son of Michael Redgrave, brother of Vanessa and Lyn and father of Jemma. He has appeared in a host of successful films in a long and varied career. He is also a Tony and Oliver Award-winning stage actor and he has performed for the National Theatre and the RSC, in a theatre career spanning over forty years. He is joined on stage by Nick Waring [above], son of actors Derek Waring and Dorothy Tutin.

Trumbo plays on Friday 6 November and tickets are £12 (£10 concessions). If you are a Season Ticket holder you will receive a 10% discount on this event. More information can be foundby clicking here where you can also book online or by calling our Ticket Office on 01204 520661.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Ghosts - reheasal images...

As well as performing in the wonderful All My Sons, it seems an actor's work is never done as some of the cast of All My Sons are currently in rehearsals for Ghosts. Not only rehearsals but they have been working with Erik Skuggevik (Translator and Language Consultant) on producing their own translation of the play. You can read more abotu the process in the show programme but it means you get a unique opportunity to see a brand new version of Ibsen's original.

Anyway, after all this talk of the words I thought you might also like some pictures...

Seven Jewish Children

From tonight until Saturday, after performances of All My Sons, you can also see a performance of Caryl Churchill's ten-minute play Seven Jewish Children. This play is considered quite contraversial and if you have a view on the play then why not come along to our upcoming event Investigate:All My Children when you will get to discuss the artistic merits of the play alongside extracts of All My Sons and Seven Other Children. You can read more about the event here.

Seven Jewish Children is directed by the very lovely and talented Elizabeth Newman. She is here with the ITV Director's scheme no less and is a great addition to the theatre I asked Lizzie to answer a few questions...


Elizabeth Newman

What do you do?

I am the Octagon Theatre’s Trainee Director on the ITV Theatre Directors Scheme

How long have you been at it?

I have been directing since I was sixteen and I have been at the Octagon for three months.

What was your very first role in the theatre?

An actor

Have you got qualifications?

Yes, I trained as a director for three years at Rose Bruford College (drama school) where I received a BA (Hons) in Directing.

What did you do before you worked in theatre?

I have always worked in theatre.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, it was a toss up between directing and law. I believe there are lot of similarities between being a director and lawyer i.e. both involve performing and investigating!

What do you do all day?

I assist, direct and run a new writing department at the theatre.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I get to make theatre!

And the worst?

Replying to lots of emails! (well that told me - Ed)

What’s your dream job in theatre?

To be Artistic Director of a theatre

Got any wise words for someone who wants to be where you are now?

Work hard and remember… you have to be like a phoenix – always return from the flames.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Audience feedback

Not only are we getting some wonderful reviews from the press, some of our lovely audiences members are also writing to us to tell us how much they are enjoying All My Sons. We have received actual letters (see above - click to enlarge and emails (see below). Isn't that nice of them.

From: charles stubbings
Sent: 11 October 2009 17:01
Subject: All My Sons
We came to see All My Sons on Friday and were completely swept away by the excellent direction and the superb acting. I have emailed The Guardian to say that their write-up was good but they failed to mention the wonderful acting and I can't see why 4 stars couldn't ahve been 5. We are regular supporters of the Octagon and look forward to seeing Ghosts in the future. Thank you again. Charles Stubbing.
Well, Charles I can't agree with your comments more and I hope that extra star will be winging its way over to us in post as we speak!

We're on Radio 5...

Oscar-winning Slum Dog Millioniare Director, Radcliffian and general all round nice guy Danny Boyle mentioned the Octagon Theatre on Radio 5 live, yesterday (Thurs 15 Oct). He talked about his time as an usher here and his first theatre experience at the Octagon. I wonder if he fancies coming back to lend a hand?

Click on the link below to listen again

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Dancing in my Dreams - review...

We've been getting some really positive feedback from audiences on Dancing in my Dreams according to our Front of House reports. A couple of my colleagues went last night and took their offpsring. They seemed to enjoy is very much and said the younger element were transfixed. Much of this due to the cast who were talented perfomers and singers, singing a cappella songs from the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. So all in all, it seems to be going down very well.

I have also picked up a review and this is a little more mixed. You can have a read here...

"The whole play is performed by a tight ensemble of just five actors. Lauren Cocoracchio is excellent as Kathleen...Director Karen Simpson has created some tightly-paced, intense and emotional scenes...Overall, this is a play and a production that has an interesting, multi-layered and intensely-emotional story." THE BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE. Read more here...

Dancing in my Dreams is playing until Saturday 17 Oct so why not book a ticket, grab your top hat and come and see for yourself....

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Investigate: Miller Time

If seeing All My Sons has led you to want to know more about the man that is the great Arthur Miller you might be interested to get the heads up on a few associated events that are part of our BoltON investigate series.

Tomorrow (Wed 14 Oct) starts a Investigation into All My Sons. As the title suggests David leads some of the cast into an investigation of the play. If you are studying Miller, just have a general passion for him or want to understand more about the 'science' behind a performance then this will provide a great insight into how a play progresses from page to stage. And don't forget if you are under 26 you can still take advantage of the under 26s Free Tickets scheme. Click here for more info on the event.

On Saturday 17 Oct we welcome the guru of all things Miller, Mr Christopher Bigsby. Not only did Mr Bigsby write the article on All My Sons for our season brochure, he is a Director of the Arthur Miller Centre and an author of a new biography on Arthur Miller. So there can't be many more qualified to talk about Arthur and I am sure as eggs he knows his onions. You can read more about this event here.

And lastly, but by no means leastly, we have had some further info on the Investigate: All My Children event on Sat 24 October. This event will see extracts of All My Sons, performed alongside Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children and Seven Other Children by Richard Stirling. Should be a very interesting day. If you want to join the debate then click here for more info.

So October is looking like a good month for fans of Miller. As I said in the title....Miller Time.

More All My Sons...

Further to the reviews here are a few more links about All My Sons. Just in case you are one of those people that haven't yet booked off the back of the reviews there might be something in here that persuades you...
It's Miller time again at the Octagon - What's on Stage - 17 September 2009
Interview: Huw Higginson in All My Sons - The Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen - 25 September 2009
Brief Encounter with David Thacker - What's on Stage - 1 October 2009
Bringing Miller to life at the Octagon - The Bolton News - 1 October 2009
Who Needs Several Productions of the Same Play? - The Guardian - 1 October 2009
Links gathered with the help of the lovely people at

Monday, 12 October 2009

One Little Word - press review...

You may remember me talking about One Little Word here. Well we have just heard that they have received a 5 star review. You can read it here.

"It is a simple message but resonated well with the audience of children and their parents.So much so that you heard youngsters saying things to their parents like “she is mean” and “she should share”. Created by M6 Theatre Company, the story aimed to entertain but also to teach children the value of sharing and playing with other children. It was a message which was clear as daylight despite the drama being told without words." BIRMINGHAM MAIL Read more here...

"Both actors are mimetically skilled. Robertson, who looks very much like a young Susannah York, has a lovely range of facial expressions and large eyes which speak volumes. Walker gets the little boy’s shifts between joy and sadness just right. When Robertson utters the ‘little word’ of the title and the only word in the piece - sorry! - the effect is magical. The making of paper boats together at the end works well too and every child in the audience goes home with a blue and white programme and instructions as to how to make it into a paper boat." THE STAGE Read more here...

Click here for more information or to book tickets or call the Octagon Ticket Office on 01204 520661. If any of your party are under 26 then they may be able to get a Free Ticket to this event as part of the A Night Less Ordinary Free Ticket Initiative. Free tickets are only available via our Ticket Office and are not available online.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Wanna be a rap star?

BBC Blast and The Poetry Society have partnered up to bring you this year's SLAMbassadors competition. Six winners will be invited to a two day masterclass event to be held in London with leading UK poets. The winners will also get the chance to show their skills at a live slam poetry event and perform alongside professional poets including Scroobius Pip and Benjamin Zephaniah!
Write an original piece (poem or rap) on the theme of identity and win the chance to perform at a live slam poetry event. Record your original track in less than 60 seconds and upload to our showcase now!

What is slam poetry? Slam is the competitive art of performance poetry, spoken word and rap. To find out more SLAMbassadors workshops are running during Blast on Tour events in: London, Bristol, Liverpool (e-mail for full details), Sunderland, Salford and Leeds. Click here for full details of how to get involved.

Write, refine and get published..

You can book your place now at a unique all-day writing event at the Red Triangle vegetarian cafe in Burnley, Lancs on Sunday 15 November 2009 where you'll discover how to get your poems and stories published, as well as trying new ideas, twists and techniques to help you write, edit, re-write and refine your work. Paper Planes: Write, Refine and Get Published is only £27 (£24 concessions)

For more information including details of how to book your place then contact

The event is the latest in a series of popular Paper Planes sessions, and is conducted by poet and Commonword trustee Steve Waling, Comma fiction writer Anthony Sides, and published poet and short story writer Annie Clarkson.

If you want to see Annie in action she will be performing in the first of the new season's Literature Live events here at the Octagon. She will be joined by Chris Killen, winner of the 2007 Manchester Literary Festival's Blog award ofr his innovative fiction site Day of Moustaches. The event takes place on Monday 12 October. You can read more info or book online here.

BBC Blast has touched down in Bolton

What: Blast is coming to Bolton for three days of exciting free workshops and taster sessions in everything from dance and music to film, fashion and loads more. Don't miss out - book today!For a full line-up of sessions still available see below.

Where: Victoria Square, outside Bolton Town Hall

When: 8th - 10th October

Age Range: 13 - 19
Everyone taking part in BBC Blast activities needs to bring a completed Blast Consent Form to the event. If you are under 16 this will need to be signed by a parent or guardian. Click here to download the form.

Today's Events

1pm - 3.15pm Photostory
If you were to feature in a comic, would you be the hero or the villain? Working with photographer, Kwame Lestrade and using the software Comic Life, you can create your own photostories and comics, and let your imagination run wild.

1pm - 3.30pm VJ Workshop
The Chemical Brothers are doing it, Fatboy Slim's doing it - why not try your hand at VJing? Mix images like a DJ mixes music to create your own video show.

1.15pm - 3.30pm Animation - Stop Motion Celebrity!
Create your own stop motion animation featuring your favourite celebs and get all the top tips from our expert animator.

4.30pm - 6.30pm Photostory
If you were to feature in a comic, would you be the hero or the villain? Working with photographer, Kwame Lestrade and using the software Comic Life, you can create your own photostories and comics, and let your imagination run wild.

4.30pm - 6.30pm Mcing
Are you a budding MC? An Mcing crew will give you some tools and tips on creating the best hooks and phrases. You'll write some new material and get the chance to perform in the Blast Showcase on Saturday.

4.30pm - 6.30pm Discovery Drop In
Drop into the Discovery truck - you could make a sting for Blast Out Loud radio or your very own mobile ringtone. Drop In

4.30pm - 6.30pm Animation - Stop Motion Celebrity!
Create your own stop motion animation featuring your favourite celebs and get all the top tips from our expert animator.

4.30pm - 5.30pm Breaking News
Record your own Blast news report and hear it broadcast on Blast Out Loud.

5pm - 6.30pm VJ Workshop
The Chemical Brothers are doing it, Fatboy Slim's doing it - why not try your hand at VJing? Mix images like a DJ mixes music to create your own video show.

5.30pm - 6.30pm Breaking News
Record your own Blast news report and hear it broadcast on Blast Out Loud.

There's loads to do so why don't you get down there and take part. Quite fancy the MCing myself....for details of rupcoming session see the full low down here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Ibsen's masterpiece at the Octagon

By Henrik Ibsen
Director David Thacker
Designer Patrick Connellan

One of the most powerful dramas ever written comes to the Octagon from 29 October to 21 November with Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts. Following on from Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, David brings another classic of international theatre to our stage.

It’s a gripping and deeply moving story about the underlying corruption of a seemingly respectable family. Oswald Alving returns home to be with his mother, Helena, after a long period abroad. She is a well educated woman, whose radical views are in contrast to the conservative attitudes of those around her. But Oswald brings some disturbing news home with him – could it be that there is more to his deceased father than it seemed? He sets about a chain of events and skeletons are forced out of the closet, leading to a truly shocking conclusion.

David first worked on Ghosts 26 years ago when he directed an acclaimed production with a cast that included Vanessa Redgrave and Tom Wilkinson. He tells me he is confident that this classic play is still significant today and here he explaisn why:

“Ghosts is one of my favourite plays and I want people to be as moved as I was when I first saw it. It also had a profound impact on Arthur Miller’s development as a playwright, so it is only fitting that it follows our production of All My Sons. It is just as relevant to people in Bolton and the North West as it is to people in London or Oslo – just one of the reasons why the setting for this production will be Lancashire. In the context of the lies and cover-ups which are increasingly common in the politics of today, Ghosts seems almost like it was written for 2009 and not 1881!”

The wonderful George Irving, Margot Leicester, Oscar Pearce and Vanessa Kirby from the cast of All My Sons will be returning for Ghosts, and they will be joined by Russell Richardson. Margot is originally from the North West, having been brought up in Middleton and attending Bury Grammar School. She is also married to David Thacker, with whom she has worked on countless productions including works by Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, whose play Broken Glass earned her an Olivier Award nomination.

To buy tickets for Ghosts click here or call our Ticket Office on 01204 520661.

Mixed Up North - belated review....

A belated review of Mixed Up North from the Independent.

"Theatregoers will surely be beating a path to the Octagon in what promises to be an unmissable season in which he revisits such previous successes as All My Sons, Ghosts and Comedians....It opened, however, with a brave venture from Out of Joint, a new docu-drama by Robin Soans called Mixed Up North...the drama begins to grip and when the real stories emerge, sometimes haltingly, sometimes harrowingly, they are never less than compelling." THE INDEPENDENT Read more here...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


We are looking for a few people to add to the lovely team here at the Octagon. Do either of the following sound like you?

Part Time Relief House Manager
To work two to three evenings per week as required may also include one daytime shift on Wed or Sat. You will lead the front of house team in ensuring audiences, participants and all building users receive the highest levels of customer care. Closing date for applications 12 noon on 23/10/09 and interviews will be held on 27/10/09.

Part Time Stage Door Receptionist
To work 12 hours per week on Tues 2.00 pm – 7.00 pm and Thurs 12 noon – 7.00 pm, £4.83 per hour/£5.80 age 22+. You will need to be organised with a pleasant telephone manner and have experience of general administrative duties and IT, busy position but must be able to work alone. Closing date for applications 12 noon on 23/10/09 and interviews will be held on 26/10/09.

For an application form and further details of either position please telephone 01204 529407 or email

Love, love, love...

More than a little giddy about this. I love Lauren Laverne, I love Grazia magazine (it is a weekly treat - don't judge me) and I really love our current production of All My Sons so imagine my extreme delight that we have a mention of All My Sons on Lauren Laverne's page in Grazia magazine...

Click to enlarge...

More All My Sons photos...

I received some more fantastic All My Sons images from Ian Tilton so I thought I would share

Monday, 5 October 2009


Despite the flexibility of the auditorium we haven't in recent years staged much in the round. But we have used the round for All My Sons, so we asked Joel to take a picture as people were taking their seats.

All My Sons - the reviews...

Well, it was the press night of All My Sons on Friday night and I think I have only just about recovered enough to write this. Quite simply it was phenomenal. There were standing ovations, audible gasps and many a person leaving (or not being able to leave) the auditorium with damp hankies and red eyes. The atmosphere in the bar afterwards, despite the tears, was electric.

The production is wonderful and the cast are astonishing. I am so, so proud to work here and you MUST see this show....

"This is brilliantly paced, meticulous piece of work, which manages to ratchet up the tension, and allows the characters room to grieve... Thacker’s production is as unfussy and uncluttered as it needs to be, and still feels dense and weighty... some of the finest playing I can recall on the Octagon stage... a wonderful revision of a classic text, and a must-see production. 5 stars" WHAT'S ON STAGE Read more here...

"Although I’ve seen the Octagon in-the-round before, the playing area has never felt so close and immediate…. George Irving returns to the Octagon after his blinding performance in Shining City two years ago. He remains faithful to Miller’s description of Joe Keller as “stolid”, but although superficially impassive and unemotional, below the surface there fizzes a James Cagney-esque nervous energy which eventually explodes to shattering effect.

Margot Leicester, who was so brilliant as the grieving mother in A Conversation at the Royal Exchange, gives a wonderful performance here"
UK THEATRE NET Read more here...

"An excellent cast is headed by George Irving... Margot Leicester... She gives a beautifully layered performance... Miller’s powerful work still has resonance today, as does his condemnation of those who make deceitful profit from war."
THE STAGE Read more here...

"The Octagon has a deserved reputation for quality productions of works by renowned American playwright Arthur Miller…. This was further reinforced by the excellent casting headed by M.E.N. Theatre Award nominee, George Irving. Thacker has cast the excellent Margot Leicester, in the role of a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown. It's a beautifully judged performance."

"The play manages that rare trick — to transport you away from the theatre, to make you unaware of the person sitting next to you, and to wrap you up so tightly in the characters’ world that you forget these are actors on a stage. It is a bold, gutsy, terribly moving play that left me sobbing.

David Thacker has certainly wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Octagon, and if everything else in the coming season is as good as this, then long may he reign."
THE BOLTON NEWS. Read more here...

"With a classic production of one of the best plays of the twentieth century, a superlative cast, under the deft touch of an expert director the Octagon have unquestionably got a first-rate hit on their hands...A high quality production that excels in every way, Arthur Miller would have been proud." GEORGEIRVING.COM Read more here...

"George Irving's hugelyimpressive performance as Joe takes a massive journey from the charismatic, jokey, loving family man preparing for retirement but ready to step in and solve family disputes calmly and rationally when they arise, to a prowling silverback gorilla in the last act, ready to attack in order to defend. Margot Leicester's performance as Kate is equally great, portraying her as a perfectly rational woman but with some unshakeable and not entirely rational beliefs.

Oscar Pearce as Chris goes from the happy, rather naive but wholly positive son of a local hero to a completely broken, devastated young man in a totally believable and heartbreakingly emotional performance. Vanessa Kirby gives a remarkably assured and mature performance as Ann in her professional stage debut, and Mark Letheren judges the character of George, who appears to believe whatever the last person with a strong opinion told him with great emotional intensity, just right.

Although some productions of Miller seem to show him to be dated and long-winded, Thacker has shown that with the right hand on the helm he can still be as powerful, emotionally-charged and relevant as he ever was." BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE Read more here...

"Thacker is back – with a bang... As the father who may, or may not, have sold defective engines to the air force George Irving gives another towering performance... As his wife, Margot Leicester harbours all the composed mania of a grieving mother... Irving and Leicester are also to appear in Ghosts... this one shouts to be seen and heard first." LANCASHIRE EVENING POST Read more here...

"David Thacker, the Octagon's newly appointed artistic director, had the distinction of being Arthur Miller's favoured British interpreter...Thacker's subtle direction takes a neutral, non-interventionist approach, yet the overall message seems clear - 4 stars" THE GUARDIAN Read more here...

"in Thacker’s production of All My Sons you are engulfed from the outset in this powerful story. Making it easy to get lost in the comfortable allure of this play which makes the eventual climax even more exiting. Transitioning from the calm to the intense and engaging there is nothing clichéd about David Thacker’s razor sharp direction. This combined with Millers rich theatrical dialogue lures you in and grips you like an old fashioned thriller. Make it your business to see this show. It is In the Round theatre at its very best, an elegant, powerful and flawless piece of drama." THE PUBLIC REVIEWS Read more here...

"The play is an American nightmare of love, greed, death and culpability in which Thacker's own use of metaphor would be less effective if his staging weren't so brilliant. The production could scarcely be more gripping, the emotional energy between these flawed people could hardly fizz more resonantly or the cracks in their veneer shatter with more tragic inevitability." THE INDEPENDENT. Read more here...

"So, as the pattern and texture of guilt weave through Thacker’s revival, it stands a fit companion for another classic drama of moral responsibility emerging from the past, Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, which comes next in an Octagon autumn likely to be seriously filled with guilty pleasures." REVIEWSGATE Read more here...

Would love to hear what you thought of the show. Why not post a comment below?

Friday, 2 October 2009

Theatre for preschoolers...

This autumn internationally renowned M6 Theatre Company brings its wealth of over 30 years experience of bringing work to the stage for young audiences, with their latest production the beautifully sensitive and moving new play One Little Word here at the Octagon Theatre Bolton on Thurs 22 October at 11am and 2pm.

Specially created for young children aged 3+, One Little Word tells the story of two characters who play together – exploring a new space, new objects, dressing up and taking turns - but struggles arise when one of them wants to be the ONLY Captain of the ship! This beautiful and gentle story of friendship, power struggles and the rich world of creative play has been underscored with original music, and contains only ONE spoken word.

The creative team behind this beautifully crafted and moving production includes internationally acclaimed theatre artists - Andy Manley (Director – Polka Theatre & Scottish Opera) and Tayo Akinbode (Song of Singapore 2007) with actors Eve Robertson (Road 2008 and Spring and Port Wine 2008) and Luke Walker (Mind The Gap, Three of the Best from 24:7, 2007).

All My Sons - production photos

All My Sons opened last night and press night is tonight. I am so excited about seeing this for several reasons. It is David's first show here at the Octagon, I loved George Irving in Shining City and here he is again as Joe Keller and after watching The Take this week and seeing a run through I can't wait to see Margot in action.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Calling all short film makers...

Vision Media are now inviting applications for their Digital Shorts scheme 2009/10, funded by Northwest Vision and Media and the UK Film Council.

The aim is to provide an opportunity for emerging filmmakers to develop their professional experience and create high quality digital films. We are searching for new stories that show passion and imagination.

Northwest Vision and Media will commission up to six engaging films of no more than 15 minutes and with budgets of up to £12,000. So get your cameras out.

Deadline is Thursday 5 November 2009.
For more information and to view the guidelines and application form, please follow this link: