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Bolton Little Theatre

Season Brochure


Hello, and welcome to Bolton Little Theatre...


s another fantastic BLT season looms ever closer, I can’t help but think back to a comment made by one audience member after a performance of Calendar Girls last season. “It was very good” she began as I asked her what she thought of the show on her way out, “you couldn’t tell it was an amateur production!” I do wish people would stop confusing “amateur” with “amateurish”! I’m sure the lady in question meant this to be a compliment and of course it was taken as such, but it did lead me to ask a serious question: why should the words ‘amateur theatre’ lead someone to believe that the show they are about to watch is going to be of poor quality? Take this new season. Just like any other theatre we are striving to provide a diverse mix of shows to appeal to audiences of all ages, with hilarious comedies such as ‘Out of Order’ by Ray Cooney in September and tense thrillers like Anthony Horowitz’s ‘Mindgame’ in May. Just like the staff at every other theatre, our directors and production volunteers are hard at work, organising, planning, plotting and building months in advance. Even our wardrobe department are busy sourcing the togas required by our December show, the hilarious Miles Tredinnick play ‘Up Pompeii’, based on the fantastic (and saucy) seventies TV Show of the same name. I hope that previous visitors to Bolton Little Theatre will agree that each production here is as enjoyable and powerful as anywhere else. This year will be no exception, with audiences no doubt shedding tears of laughter and sadness at both Richard Everett’s sharp, witty and emotional comedy ‘Entertaining Angels’ in February and Michael Birch’s adaptation of the David Nobbs novel ‘Second from Last in the Sack Race’, about the trials and

tribulations of young Henry Pratt and his tumultuous yet heartwarming journey through adolescence, in June. The fact is that “amateurs” simply means that no-one who works here at BLT gets paid – we all do it for the love of theatre, and we perform our plays to audiences who are also lovers of good theatre. And that love can be found in every performance delivered at BLT. Be it in the older, well known plays, such as Bernard Shaw’s ‘Arms and the Man’ (October), or in the brand spanking, never-been-seenbefore new ones, such as the world premiere of Kevan Ogden’s ‘Sunlight on the Moors’, a warm and witty mixture of fact and fiction which explores family tensions, the legacy of WWI, the paradox behind philanthropic industrialisation and the nature of art itself – with Bolton’s own Lord Leverhulme as the main protagonist! In reality, the principal difference between Bolton Little Theatre and such fine professional theatres as the Octagon and Royal Exchange is the budget. But the same amount of passion, hard work, enthusiasm and commitment can be found in the volunteers at Bolton Little Theatre as in the paid staff in a professional theatre; the same desire to perform and entertain in our actors and technicians; and, we hope, the same level of enjoyment had by our audiences each and every year. Don’t believe me? Why not come and find out for yourself? Elizabeth Tatman Chairman

Season at a Glance September 14th - 21st 2013

Out of Order by Ray Cooney

November 9th - 16th 2013

Arms and the Man by Bernard Shaw December 7th - 14th 2013

Up Pompeii by Miles Tredinnick February 8th - 15th 2014

Entertaining Angels by Richard Everett March 8th - 15th 2014


by Anthony Horowitz May 10th - 17th 2014

Sunlight on the Moors by Kevan Ogden June 14th - 21th 2014

Second from Last in the Sack Race by Michael Birch adapted from the novel by David Nobbs

“Bolton Little Theatre is a very important part of Bolton... if you wanted to see plays well done you came down to see the amateurs rather than a professional company... the little theatre is full of people with real enthusiasm” Sir Ian McKellen, CBE, CofH Patron of Bolton Little Theatre

Booking Arrangements • At the Town Hall, Albert Halls Box Office in person • By phone (01204 334400) • Online at • Or on 01204 524469 after 6:30pm on performance nights only All performances start at 7:30pm unless otherwise stated. Ticket Seat Prices: All seats for Main Stage and Forge Theatre shows: £10 Monday Special: Buy 2 tickets and get 3rd free. Reduced prices for groups of 10 or more except on Fridays and 2nd Saturdays All major cards taken at Albert Halls Box Office Cheques for tickets should be made payable to Bolton MBC and sent to: Albert Halls Ticket Office, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 8RU

Matinees All our Forge Theatre productions now include a Sunday afternoon matinee performance at 2:00pm. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Season Tickets You can buy a season ticket for the whole season at a reduced price of £60 for all seven shows, a saving of £10. Forms of application are available from the theatre. This offer is available until 16th September.

Charities and Hospitality Many charities and other organizations are now enjoying a night out at the theatre as a fund-raising activity or ‘theatre night out’. This can be part of a ‘Supper and Theatre’ deal for groups. Just contact our charities and hospitality coordinator Carol Butler on 01204 460306 or 07828 944293, or ask at the theatre for more information.

Main Stage: 14th - 21st September 2013

The Forge: 9th - 16th November 2013

Out of Order

Arms and the Man

When Richard Willey, a Government Junior Minister, plans to spend the evening with Jane, one of the Opposition’s typists, things go disastrously wrong, beginning with the discovery of a body trapped in the window. Desperately trying to get out of the sticky situation Richard calls for his PPS, George Pigden who, through Richard’s lies, ends up in trouble with everybody. Hurtling along at a lightning fast pace, Ray Cooney’s award winning farce is a nonstop journey of hilarity from start to finish.

Young Raina is in love with Sergius, but then war intervenes and she meets a Swiss mercenary, Bluntschli (the chocolate soldier). Her mind is confused by military glory versus common sense, but her pert servant Louka is much more down to earth in this emotional world! Raina’s father Major Petkov has problems enough with his social climbing wife Catherine – but in a neat denouement, money solves nearly everyone’s problems! Shaw’s witty dialogue keeps the whole story moving at a cracking pace. Not to be missed!

by Ray Cooney

by Bernard Shaw

Saturday 14th Sep 2013 Monday 16 Sep 2013 th

Tuesday 17 Sep 2013 th

Wednesday 18th Sep 2013 Thursday 19th Sep 2013 Friday 20th Sep 2013 Saturday 21th Sep 2013

3 for 2 tickets

Saturday 9th Nov 2013 Sunday 10th Nov 2013

2pm Matinee

Monday 11 Nov 2013

3 for 2 tickets


Tuesday 12th Nov 2013 Wednesday 13th Nov 2013 Thursday 14th Nov 2013 Friday 15th Nov 2013 Saturday 16th Nov 2013

Main Stage: 7th - 14st December 2013

The Forge: 8th - 15st February 2014

Up Pompeii

Entertaining Angels

Based on the original characters devised by Talbot Rothwell and Sid Colin, this hilarious romp through ancient Pompeii brings back all the television favourites in a full-length play. As Lurcio attempts to deliver his prologue and begin proceedings, he’s quickly caught up in the myriad of sexual liaisons in all quarters of his master’s house. Why does Ludicrus not leave for the Senate meeting in Rome? Why does his wife return so quickly from the country? Whilst growing chaos ensues, an increasing rumbling is heard in the distance – what could that possibly be? A riot from start to finish.

Grace, a vicar’s widow, spent a lifetime on her best behaviour. Now she can enjoy her new-found freedom But the return of her missionary sister, with some disturbing revelations forces her to confront the truth of her marriage. A sharp-edged comedy with probing wit that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

by Miles Tredinnick

by Richard Everett

Saturday 7th Dec 2013 Monday 9 Dec 2013 th

Tuesday 10th Dec 2013

3 for 2 tickets

Saturday 8th Feb 2014 Sunday 9th Feb 2014

2pm Matinee

Monday 10 Feb 2014

3 for 2 tickets


Tuesday 11th Feb 2014

Wednesday 11th Dec 2013

Wednesday 12th Feb 2014

Thursday 12th Dec 2013

Thursday 13th Feb 2014

Friday 13 Dec 2013

Friday 14th Feb 2014

Saturday 14th Dec 2013

Saturday 15th Feb 2014


Main Stage: 8th -15th March 2014

The Forge: 10th -17th May 2014


Sunlight on the Moors

When writer Mark Styler attempts to gain an interview with a notorious serial killer, he has little understanding what he may be diving into. Soon he discovers that very little in the asylum is quite what it seems. Worse still, even the things that are what they seem, are slowly changing. Who is the mysterious Borson? Where did he get the meat in the fridge? And why isn’t the skeleton in the closet? Mindgame is a puzzle-box of a play. A thriller that actually manages to thrill, and a very dark comedy that twists and spirals towards a completely unexpected ending.


by Anthony Hororwitz

by Kevan Ogden

Saturday 8th Mar 2014 Monday 10 Mar 2014 th

Tuesday 11 Mar 2014 th

Wednesday12th Mar 2014 Thursday 13th Mar 2014 Friday 14th Mar 2014 Saturday 15th Mar 2014

3 for 2 tickets

In 1920 Lord Leverhulme is at his Rivington home when the artist, Augustus John, arrives to paint his portrait. However a clash of personalities eventually leads to writs, controversy in the press and the unlikely event of an artists’ strike in Italy. A warm and witty mixture of fact and fiction which explores family tensions, the legacy of WWI, the paradox behind philanthropic industrialisation and the nature of art itself.

Saturday 10th May 2014 Sunday 11th May 2014

2pm Matinee

Monday 12 May 2014

3 for 2 tickets


Tuesday 13th May 2014 Wednesday 14th May 2014 Thursday 15th May 2014 Friday 16th May 2014 Saturday 17th May 2014

Main Stage: 14th - 21st June 2014

Second from Last in the Sack Race by Michael Birch adapted from the novel by David Nobbs Adapted from the first of a series of novels written by David Nobbs, this lively and heart-warming comedy centres on Henry Pratt – a short-sighted, plump, un-athletic and over-imaginative young boy. Set in South Yorkshire during the 1930s and 40s, the story follows Henry’s tumultuous journey through school before starting his National Service in 1953. Heart-warming and hilarious, this is one play you will definitely want to book early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday 14th June 2014 Monday 16th June 2014

3 for 2 tickets

Tuesday 17 June 2014 th

Wednesday 18th June 2014 Thursday 19th June 2014 Friday 20th June 2014 Saturday 21th June 2014

By Kev

van Ogden

World Premiere: Sunlight on the Moors


ll kids love ruins and, back when I was a youngster, the gardens at Rivington always fascinated me. They were Greek weren’t they? Or maybe Roman? Was there an unacknowledged period when the Chinese invaded and left their mark? And then there was that castle down by the reservoir – wasn’t that medieval? Many great men have left follies behind them and William Lever, the first Lord Leverhulme, was no exception. Along with other humane industrialists like Robert Owen, Titus Salt and the Quaker Chocolatiers he regarded the folk who worked for him as more than employees. His model village, of course, was Port Sunlight, a place where his undoubted benevolence could sometimes edge across into interference. Quite often a certain crankiness will sit alongside generosity and philanthropy. William Lever for example fervently believed in the healthgiving properties of sleeping out of doors, even in winter and photographic evidence exists of the open-air bedroom at his Rivington bungalow. Vanity too regularly accompanies fame. And it was undoubtedly vanity that led him to commission the eccentric artist Augustus John to paint his portrait. It was to prove a disastrous choice for no two men could be more different in character. The play focuses on the clash of personalities which eventually led to writs, controversy in the

press and the unlikely event of an artists’ strike in Italy. It was revisiting the place after many years living in the north east and occasionally bumping into reminders of Leverhulme that encouraged me to begin research into the man. (I accidentally, for instance, came across a village called Leverburgh in the Outer Hebrides where a plaque reported the story of Lever’s unsuccessful attempt to encourage the islanders to engage in an industrial fishing venture). Peter Scofield at BLT was good enough to read the submission which dropped in on him out of the blue and, as he has agreed to take on its direction, he appears to have found some merit to the piece. I have valued his encouragement and am looking forward to see how he will deal with the trickiness in the piece - and also to the inevitable problems and rewrites that the rehearsals will throw up. The play mixes fact with fiction, humour with drama and throws in a few documentary surprises along the way.

Kevan Ogden Playwright

Fridays in the Forge As well as a fantastic programme of plays, Bolton Little Theatre also holds regular Friday evening events in the Forge Theatre. Everything from acoustic music sessions and comedy evenings to one man shows and murder mysteries. Keep an eye on our website or social media accounts to find out more or join our mailing list.

Plays + Our Plays+ selection of performances are specially selected by the production team to offer something different to the main programme. These plays provide our audiences with the opportunity to take in something different to the usual fare with short runs of new, experimental or sometimes controversal plays from around the world. More details are available via our website, social media sites and of course through the mailing list

Membership As a charity run entirely by volunteers we are reliant on the good will of our members to keep us going. As well as actors, we also need a legion of ‘back stage’ workers: stage managers, props people, lighting and sound engineers, and ‘front of house’ people to work behind the bar, serve tea and coffee, man the box office, assist people getting to their seats etc.

Directions and Parking

Bolton Little Theatre is located on Hanover Street and is less than a two minute walk from the town centre. The central bus station is located at the end of the road and the train station is just a short walk away - making Bolton Little Theatre extremely accessible from across the region.

In addition we meet on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to socialise and prepare for our next production. Most of our volunteering involves evening work but some activities do take place during the day.

For those travelling by car the theatre is located just 5 minutes away from the A666 and M61. Just head towards the Town Centre following signs for Moor Lane. Hanover Street is located directly beside the Albion Pub

Membership is £12 per year for individuals and £20 for couples. For young people under 16 and Senior Citizens, membership is just £6. Contact the Membership Secretary at the theatre or email

On show nights audience members may use the car park on Hanover Street from 6pm at no charge. There is also free on-street parking from 6pm on Hanover Street and Gas Street in the designated areas.

The Forge The Forge Theatre is an intimate 60 seat auditorium with limited disabled access. Because of the nature of the theatre, late entry may not be possible until the first interval.

Main Stage The Main Stage is a 163 seat proscenium arch theatre with raked auditorium, and disabled lift facilities, wheelchair platform and induction loop. Late entry may be possible at the discretion of the House Manager.

With thanks to: Ben Latham for poster and leaflet design Kev Walsh for designing the brochure theatrebolton


Bolton Little Theatre Ltd Registered Company No. 01333890 and Registered Charity No. 507832

Andrea Keeley for photography

BLT Brochure 2013/14  

Bolton little Theatre brochure detailing our productions for the 2013/14 season. including the world premiere of "Sunlight on the Moors", by...

BLT Brochure 2013/14  

Bolton little Theatre brochure detailing our productions for the 2013/14 season. including the world premiere of "Sunlight on the Moors", by...