By Steve Cooke
The wonderfully refurbished Bolton Octagon has announced a great new season.
Opening the season will be the regional premiere of Vinay Patel’s critically acclaimed play AN ADVENTURE (Fri 4 – Sat 26 February 2022). This epic love story follows the journey of husband, and wife Rasik and Jyoti, spanning seven decades and three continents, as they navigate political tensions in 1950s India and Kenya and the turbulence of first-generation life in Britain in the 1960s and beyond. An Adventure will be directed by Kash Arshad and designed by 2019 Linbury Prize winner, TK Hay. The Linbury Prize is the UK’s most prestigious award for Stage Design.
The Octagon will then present a powerful new adaptation of Barry Hines’ classic story KES (Thu 10 March – Sat 2 April 2022), in a co-production with Theatre by the Lake. Adapted for the stage by Robert Alan Evans, Kes is a moving and powerful coming of age story set in 1960s Yorkshire. Bullied and neglected teenager Billy Caspar’s life is changed when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk, who he cares for and trains. The true nature of friendship is explored in this uplifting story about survival in a tough world.
Next up is the world premiere of HABIBTI DRIVER (Thu 21 April – Sat 7 May 2022) a brand new ‘East meets Wigan’ comedy by Shamia Chalabi and Sarah Henley. Relationships are put to the test for Ashraf – an Egyptian Muslim taxi driver – and his half Egyptian, half Wigan daughter Shazia, in this heart-warming new play directed by Sepy Baghaei that explores the Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South clashes, compromises and comedy that come with living in a mixed-culture family in today’s Britain.
The season closes in sensational style with the smash hit comedy ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (Thu 26 May – Sat 25 June 2022). Richard Bean’s much-loved modern farce, an adaptation of the classic A Servant of Two Masters, promises a riotous mix of slapstick, hilarity and live music. Recently fired Francis Henshaw soon finds himself juggling not one, but two new jobs – watch the chaos unfold as he tries to keep his two guvnors apart. Mistaken identity, murder and mayhem ensue in this side-splittingly funny, brand-new production directed by the Octagon’s Artistic Director, Lotte Wakeham.
We shall be previewing and reviewing each production in this column.
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South Bolton BL1 1SB
Phone: 01204 520661