Octagon Studio – New Writing

Bolton Octagon

Bolton Octagon and New Writing

The Bolton Octagon Theatre has a reputation for great theatre on its main ‘in the round’ stage.  However there is also a studio which hosts many events under the ‘new writing’ banner.

Driven by Associate Director Elizabeth Newman, the Octagon is one of the leading supporters of new writing in the North West.  New writing is critical to the future success of modern theatre, covering both the ability to produce modern classics, and the need to address urgent topics.  It is of course more risky, but every disappointment is balanced by the unique experience of seeing something very new and amazing.

Express Delivery

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Setting Up For Recording

At something of a loose end on Friday evening, I received a tweet about a new writing event called ‘Express Delivery’, which looked good.  It was the culmination of a collaboration between the University of Bolton and BBC Writersroom (possibly the best site for the aspiring writer) to write a twenty minute radio play.  The six plays were recorded live in front of an appreciative and knowledgable audience.  The quality of writing was good, and it was fascinating to witness the differences between the quite static radio play recording, and the more visual stage play, and how the writing differs in order to make full use of the medium.

Afterwards there was a structured discussion about new writing which included Elizabeth Newman, writer, director and dramaturg Janys Chambers and BBC Writersroom’s Development Producer Henry Swindell.  The opportunity to gain first hand insight from industry professionals is always valuable.  As is often the case, there was much discussion about the relationship between the writer and the director, two of the key ‘invisible’ roles that make or break a play.

An unexpected treat, and a space that I will follow more closely.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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