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Last night Bolton North Neighbourhood Team engaged on ASB patrols had to deal with a large number of youths causing anti-social behaviour near to Eagley Sport Complex. There were reports of youths throwing bottles at children who had legitimate access to the complex. At this time a criminal investigation is under way and enquiries are on-going to identify the offenders.

Patrols will be in the area again this evening and throughout the weekend. You can report incidents anonymously: Crime Stoppers website crowd.in/XLMHpU Crime Stoppers number 0800 555 111 GMP Website crowd.in/umvqvB Bolton North Neighbourhood Team number 0161 856 5761
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‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’

By Oscar Wilde

Octagon Theatre
The Albert Halls, Bolton

Runs until Sat 15th June 2019

On walking into the impressive Albert Halls, a glorious Victorian set, by David Woodhead, was a feature to behold and every part of the existing stage area was used to create the lavish flat of ‘Algernon Moncrieff’…even the imposing organ was incorporated and played, albeit briefly, during the play. The clever usage of changing the scenes to outdoors then back to indoors was so simple yet so effective.

In the first instance, ‘Algernon’s’ flat became a photographer’s studio and the stunning lighting effects, some bouncing off photographic lighting pads and the posed typically Victorian photographic cameos staged throughout were nothing short of theatrical genius.

However let me start with something that I have never seen before with a play production and that was there was a very cleverly choreographed overture and also a second act entr’acte to the music of Tchaikovsky which involved the performers and received rapturous applause from a captivated audience. Plus the use of Tchaikovsky’s music during the play was another golden nugget.

Director Suba Das got hold of this much loved Oscar Wilde play, gave it a good old shake to get rid of all the fustiness and cobwebs and came up with a fresh, clean and razor-sharp production that was as bright as a newly minted coin. His vision is incredible and every word was so important and interpreted to the highest degree. Every move was choreographed in great detail and the segues into different aspects throughout the production were punctuated by still poses with a photographic flash, a dramatic swish of a fan or the ’Fleabag’ moment of a cursory nod to the audience.

It was a joy to watch all the actors who clearly revelled in their individual performances whilst at the same time complementing each other so generously. This was a totally ensemble piece, beautifully costumed by David Woodhead, with each actor bringing dazzling, witty and exceedingly funny facets to their characterisations and they being Sarah Ball (Lady Bracknell),
David Cardy (Dr Frederick Chasuble), Vicky Entwistle (Miss Prism), Dean Fagan (Jack Worthing), Jack Hardwick (Algernon Moncrieff), Melissa Lowe (Cecily Cardew), Dan Sheader (Merriman / Lane) and Elizabeth Twells (Gwendolen).

Lighting Designer Prema Mehta, Sound Designer Annie May Fletcher, Movement Director Lucy Cullingford and Assistant Director Hannah Calascoine have worked alongside Suba Das to cushion the small cast of exceptional actors and new faces to the Octagon in what was a superb production.

I have had the joy of watching many plays of different genres in the West End, Stratford, on Broadway, Chicago, Los Angeles, St Louis and Minneapolis and with this production The Octagon has made a step up from Regional Theatre to join the ranks of these famous theatres

If this is to be the standard for the future, Lotte Wakeman can sleep easy knowing that her first production as Artistic Director of our beloved Octagon is an absolute triumph.

Nora Howcroft

Theatre Correspondent

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Marilyn Hart – Sales and Editorial

Started life as a tele-ad at Bolton Chronicle in the early ‘80’s transferring over to Bolton Evening News in ’82. Since then not looked back and ran a number of paid and free titles for the Newsquest Media Group, eventually working in Manchester and running the provincial agency sales team until April 2008; leaving to start ML Media with Lynn.

Lynn Ashurst – Sales and finance

Also started life as a tele-ad at Bolton Evening News in the early 80’s for Lancashire Journal Series, part of Bolton Evening News. Lynn worked her way up to Group Ad Manager before leaving to work in Spain. On returning to GB worked in local radio before starting ML Media with Marilyn.

Lee Watson – Production

Lee is responsible for all the ad design and also started life at Leigh Journal part of the Bolton Evening News group. Lee is an excellent creative artist having lots of experience in both advertising and editorial

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