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Bolton. 5 minute walk from the theatre
Open Monday - Saturday from 9am
pre-theatre dining from 9am
open at performance times
One BSL-interpreted performance for every run of a show. One captioned performance for every run of a show. For detailed access information please visit the theatre's access page: octagonbolton.co.uk/visit-us/access/
The Octagon Theatre was officially opened on 27 November 1967 by Princess Margaret. To prepare for the royal arrival, the local council and theatre management had a luxury toilet installed with gold-plated features for their visit (this has since been turned into the theatre’s office space). The premiere production held at the venue was Annie and Fanny by local playwright Bill Naughton.Bolton’s Director of Architecture, Geoffrey H. Brooks, designed the building in a hexagon shape, but was named the Octagon to avoid confusion with the pre-existing Hexagon Theatre. It was the first professional theatre in the North West of England to be built after the second World War. The venue was extended in 1987 to include a studio-style theatre, which was renamed The Bill Naughton Theatre in 1994 to honour the playwright.In 1998 the theatre was fully refurbished, but this was followed by the unfortunate timing of the 1999 financial crisis, which led to the theatre becoming a receiving theatre. The local people protested this switch and campaigned heavily to get the Octagon back to its original producing house status – which was successful.Since the late 90s, the Octagon Theatre has returned to producing its own plays and continues to be a highly successful theatre.
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