top of page
  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


 previews, reviews, interviews, and recommendations with Steve Cooke







Preview by Steve Cooke

Eight of Ebor’s associate members got together and had a chat about their work. The connecting thread was that they are trying new ways of working.

Visit Ebor during their Open Studio to see In Process, a group show centred around experimenting, giving it a go and new possibilities.

Featuring work by Ellie Waters, Esther Towler, Laura Moxon-Groves, Maryanne Royle, Babs Smith Nwando Ebizie, Mary Naylor and Stephen Cranston.

Opening 13th of April 12 - 4pm with OPEN STUDIO 2024 - take a look at a vibrant artist studio and meet the professional artists that make up the Ebor community.

Get in touch to view In Process from 13th of April - 1st of May

Ebor Studio, William Street, Littleborough, Lancashire, OL15 8JP

Phone: 01706 551 001


Little Shop of Horrors coming to Octagon Theatre Bolton this Spring

Preview by Steve Cooke

The cult classic rock ‘n’ roll musical Little Shop of Horrors is returning with a

brand-new co-production for spring 2024.

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s monster musical will be directed by the Octagon’s Artistic Director, Lotte Wakeham.

A stellar company of 9 actors including several talented actor-musicians make up the cast for this devilishly delicious sci-fi smash-hit musical.


Laura Jane Matthewson (Romantics Anonymous, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and US

tour, winner of Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Emerging Talent for Dogfight,

Southwark Playhouse) and Oliver Mawdsley (Boys from the Blackstuff, Stockroom and

Liverpool Royal Court, The Comedy of Errors (More or Less), Stephen Joseph Theatre and Shakespeare North Playhouse) will play Audrey and Seymour respectively.

The man-eating plant, Audrey II, will be voiced by 2015 X Factor finalist and West End

regular Anton Stephans (Tarrantino Live, Riverside Studios, Fishermans Friends, UK tour).

Completing the cast are Matthew Ganley (One Man, Two Guvnors, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Theatre by the Lake, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Oliver Twist, Storyhouse Chester) as Orin.

Matthew Heywood (The Book Thief, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Zorro, Charing Cross Theatre) as Derelict.

Janna May (The Museum of Marvellous Things, Practically Perfect Productions, Dick Whittington and his Cat, New Wolsey Theatre) as Chiffon.

Zweyla Mitchell Dos Santos (The Hypochondriac, Sheffield Crucible, Alice in Wonderland, Liverpool Everyman and Theatre Royal Playhouse) as Crystal.

Chardai Shaw (Protest, Poetry, Peace and Song, Peripeteia Theatre, The Little Mermaid, Altrincham Garrick Playhouse) as Ronnette.

 Andrew Whitehead (A Christmas Carol, Hull Truck Theatre, The Book Thief, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Mr Mushnik.

Little Shop of Horrors director, Lotte Wakeham commented: “I am so excited to be bringing Little Shop of Horrors to audiences later this year. We have been wanting to stage this production at the Octagon for a number of years now, and jumped at the chance when the rights became available. It has such an iconic score with memorable and brilliantly feel-good songs, and to stage the show with a company of immensely talented actor-musicians performing all the music live on stage will sound absolutely incredible. It is fantastic to be partnering with 3 other wonderful regional producing theatres to ensure even more people across the country get to enjoy this classic cult musical.”

Downtown on Skid Row, weedy flower shop assistant Seymour is down on his luck until he stumbles across a mysterious new plant with killer potential. Fame and fortune follow but will this win the attention of the girl of his dreams, or will the insatiable appetite of his carnivorous plant get out of control?

Feed the need for musical hilarity with this mean green monster hit musical that has devoured the hearts of audiences around the globe. Filled with incredible rock ‘n’ roll music, be prepared to laugh and scream – and never look at a plant the same way again!

The full creative team includes TK Hay (set and costume designer); Nic Farman (lighting designer); James Cook (sound designer); Gabrielle Ball (musical director); Sundeep Sani (movement director); George Strickland (musical supervisor); Michael Fowkes (puppet director and designer); Su Newell (costume supervisor); Ania Levy (assistant designer); Anna Pool (associate director); Jack Clearwater (assistant director).

Little Shop of Horrors comes to Octagon Theatre Bolton from Wed

24 April – Sat 18 May 2024.

Tickets are on-sale now.

Selected accessible performances are available including Audio Described, Captioned, BSL

Interpreted and Relaxed/Dementia-friendly. Check individual venue website for full

information and dates.

Find out more and book tickets by visiting the venue website or calling the box office:

Octagon Theatre Bolton

01204 520661




Thursday 11 April 2024

Woman Like Me: The Little Mix Show

The best-selling pop concert experience Woman Like Me: The Little Mix Show, returns on its UK Tour.

This show brings back-to-back chart-topping hits, incredible voices, and the electrifying energy of Little Mix to life on stage, captivating fans old and new in an unmissable celebration of their phenomenal music career.

Woman Like Me features the ultimate playlist of Little Mix's greatest hits, including 'Black Magic', 'Secret Love Song', 'Power' and, of course, 'Woman Like Me'.

'Mixers' and fans of all ages will be singing along to their favourite

anthems and will leave the show feeling empowered, uplifted, and ready to embrace their own uniqueness.

Join us as we celebrate the unstoppable force that is Little Mix and experience the magic of their music up-close like never before. Get ready for a night of top-quality performances and heartfelt moments in this tribute to the global phenomenon that continues to inspire millions around the world.

Tickets from £15

Phone: Middleton Arena 0300 303 8633 


Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG



Thursday 11 April 2024

Littleborough Historical & Archaeological Society

Holcombe Moor Update by Neil Coldrick.

Light refreshments are served on arrival and non-members are very welcome to attend.

Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 8.00pm (doors open at 7.30pm) in the fully accessible (via the station ramp) History Centre on Platform 2 of Littleborough Train Station.

Free parking is available locally within the town centre and nearby streets.

Members £2.50 and Non-members £3.50

Phone: 01706 838385

Doors open 7.30pm, 8pm start

History Centre, Platform 2, Littleborough Railway Station, Railway Street, Littleborough OL15 8AF


Thursday 11 April 2024

Talks: Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery

Rochdale Town Hall tour (pre-booked)

A chance to see the newly restored and magnificent Rochdale Town Hall. Take a tour with staff and find out about all the conservation work that has been undertaken during the re-development. As well as learning fascinating facts about the building's past and future, you will have the opportunity to explore all the new spaces and places previously closed to the public.

Phone: 01706 648872.


Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AZ


Thursday 11 April 2024

Riverside Writing Group

This is a weekly facilitated and welcoming workshop open to all writers over eighteen years whether new or experienced.

You can join them, just bring a pen and your imagination.


Phone: Eileen Earnshaw 07514 671283

10am - 12 noon

Rochdale Central Library, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU


Thursday 11 April 2024 - Saturday 13 April 2024

Visit Fireground Museum

Join us at Fireground this week to discover Greater Manchester's firefighting story.

Fire museum attractions are on show inside the museum including our collection of historic firefighting artefacts from the 18th century to present day, plus home-made refreshments in the new Fireground Café, and souvenirs from our fantastic new gift shop! We have a wide choice ranging from toddler to collector.

Fireground is open to visitors on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am - 4pm.

Under 4s are free, Children (aged 4-15) and Concessions £5, Adults £7 and Family (4 people) £20.

Phone: Fireground 01706 341219

Open Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am - 4pm

Fireground, Maclure Road, Rochdale OL11 1DN


Saturday 13 April 2024

The Mersey Beatles

Fans of The Beatles prepare to be wowed by the world’s favourite Liverpool-born tribute to the Fab Four.

The Mersey Beatles have been rocking sold-out shows around the globe since 1999 with their truly authentic and widely acclaimed celebration of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The band – who clocked up more than 600 appearances in a 10-year residency at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club – brilliantly exude the inner and outer spirit of the original Fab Four.

From the costumes, instruments, cheeky Scouse wit and, of course, that brilliant era-defining Mersey sound, The Mersey Beatles stunning live stage show is a gloriously presented hit-packed celebration of the music that changed the world.

Throughout two unforgettable hours, they take the audience on a fabulous ride through the ‘mop top’ hits of Beatlemania, the psychedelic creativity of Sgt Pepper to the melodic wonder and energy of the Fab Four’s later work.

So, roll up, roll up for this very special ‘Magical History Tour’ – a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Tickets from £26

Phone: Middleton Arena 0300 303 8633 


Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG


Saturday 13 April 2024

Riverside Artisan Market

Running on the second Saturday of every month, the successful Riverside Artisan Market returns again to Rochdale Riverside this weekend.

A big thankyou to all our customers for helping us to grow this market every month.

A warm welcome is waiting from over 20 small independent businesses who grow, rear, make or bake what you see. All different, all quality and made by the people you speak to.

From artisan meats to hand made fudge and glass creations.

From room sprays, wax melts, handmade soaps and quirky gift ideas

From preserves, chutneys, oils and vinegars to delicious savoury pies, sweet treats and fresh fruit and veg and so much more.

Come say hi, let us know what you think and while you’re here check out the great Rochdale Riverside and the other lovely places Rochdale Town Centre has to offer.


10am - 4pm, Riverside Retail & Leisure Complex, Riverside Walk, Rochdale

OL16 1TR


celebrating creative arts and artists - an oasis of positivity supporting individual and community wellbeing.


45 views0 comments


bottom of page