After 2 years of construction and a global pandemic the Octagon are thrilled to announce the new reopening date for the theatre’s town centre building as Friday 4 December. The reopening after a major redevelopment was due this summer but was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19.

In December the Octagon plans to open their Kitchen & Bar, a friendly space for casual eating, drinking and socialising, and host a number of creative workshops, along with a series of festive events to be announced soon. However, with the delay to the building caused by the pandemic and no date from the government of when it will be safe for audiences to return without social distancing, the theatre have taken the difficult decision to postpone their previously announced productions.

The new musical version of Charles Dickens’ festive classic A Christmas Carol will be postponed until Christmas 2021. The productions of Vinay Patel’s epic drama An Adventure and the world premiere of a new musical adaptation of the bestselling novel The Book Thief, both due to be staged in early 2021, will also be rescheduled with dates to be confirmed. The Young Octagon’s production of One Night in Bolton will be reimagined as a radio world premiere. The theatre aims to stage alternative productions in the main theatre from early 2021 with titles and ticket details to be announced in the autumn.

This new programme of productions and other activities are being planned on the assumption that social distancing will still be in place, in line with current government guidance. This will mean a significant loss in future revenue due to the need to restrict audience numbers. The theatre is encouraging supporters to join its Membership scheme as means of continuing their support during this challenging recovery period for the Octagon.

Before the theatre reopens to welcome visitors, it continues to reach audiences digitally with a brand new online production co-produced with Guildford Shakespeare Company – a Zoom production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Directed by Octagon Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham, this ‘made for online’ production will be available to watch live in the autumn with dates and ticket details to be announced Tuesday 1 September with priority booking available for Members.

The Octagon Future Fund launched in May has raised nearly £50,000 to support the theatre through the Covid-19 crisis. As a registered charity the theatre is reliant on support, and at this critical time for the arts industry the Octagon is asking audiences to sign up as Members to be part of the Octagon family at the same time as helping secure its future.

To find out more and join as a Member visit octagonbolton.co.uk/members.

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