A fit­ting venue for tale of pain and hope

Middleton Guardian - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - EILEEN EARNSHAW

BOLTON Oc­tagon’s pro­duc­tion, And Did Those Feet writ­ten by Les Smith and Martin Thomas­son, di­rected by award-win­ning direc­tor and lec­turer David Thacker was made very spe­cial by the choice of venue be­ing Bolton F.C.’s sta­dium.

Set in nine­teen twenty-three. The play is a story in which the pain of life in the early Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury is en­cap­su­lated into a se­ries of foot­ball games that started in Bolton.

The Bolton Wan­der­ers climbed to the pin­na­cle of the beau­ti­ful game win­ning the F.A. Cup at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium, Lon­don.

It is the story of tal­ented young men cut down by the guns of World War One. Of hunger, poverty, short time work and the fight be­tween the mon­eyed and work­ing classes.

It is the story of women left alone with­out sup­port, the men who re­turned, sick in heart and head to a world that promised noth­ing.

Above all it’s the story of hope. Hope in the fu­ture, hope that the shin­ing star of suc­cess can be brought home to Bolton by the win­ning of the game. It is an evening that al­lows us to en­ter into the joy and pride felt by the com­mu­nity at that time.

Martin Bar­rass, known by tele­vi­sion vi­sion view­ers from Em­merdale, Heart­beat, and An­gels played the in­de­fati­ga­ble Bob Stott for the third time. Colin Con­nor played Alf who mourns his son lost in the war, Barbara Dren­nan his wife, the essence of north­ern fe­male strength.

Nathan Ives-Moiba the im­age of their son Billy. Ciaren Grif­fiths and He­len O’Hara the young cou­ple des­per­ately try­ing to save enough to marry.

Bolton’s Oc­tagon Theatre has served the com­mu­nity for fifty years de­vel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for in­no­va­tive and in­spir­ing work.

Cur­rently, the theatre it­self is un­der­go­ing an ex­cit­ing re­fur­bish­ment that is the big­gest in its his­tory.

It will in­clude im­proved wheel­chair ac­cess and fa­cil­i­ties, pro­vide more space for work­ing with young peo­ple and for com­mu­nity needs in­clud­ing a pur­pose-built stu­dio.

New seat­ing, café, bar, ac­ces­si­ble re­hearsal room and dress­ing rooms.

We can all help in the re­fur­bish­ment of this won­der­ful com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity in sev­eral ways in­clud­ing by buy­ing a brick, Gold £1,000. Sil­ver £500, Bronze £50 or spon­sor a seat for £500 in mem­ory of a loved one or as a unique gift dis­play­ing your mes­sage. Any do­na­tion no mat­ter how small will make a dif­fer­ence. You can do­nate by phone, on­line, or pop into the box of­fice.

Visit: https:// oc­tagonbolton.co.uk/ oc­tagon-reimag­ined/

Bolton Oc­tagon’s pro­duc­tion of And Did Those Feet

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