Thursday, 23 July 2009

New faces...

Image: Joel Chester Fildes

As Monika has now gone off to have her baby (hi Mon if you are reading) we have a new Head of Communications. It is the very lovely Jon Gilchrist. I will hand over to him to tell you a bit about himself...

This feels a little bit too much like sales copy [once a marketing man always a marketing man eh?- Ed]. Or an entry to my diary. Not that I have a diary.

Today felt like a real homecoming for me. Not just because I live in Bolton, but because The Octagon was my first real job in a theatre. I was here for some really exciting times between 2004 and 2006 before going on to work at The Lowry in Salford and (most recently) The Dukes in Lancaster, and I always felt a real affinity to my hometown theatre. I have frequently been blown away by the quality of the work, and the ambition of the anniversary season really set a benchmark for theatre in the region with people from around the country taking note.

I was lucky enough to work with the former Artistic Director, Mark Babych, for a number of years and on some truly memorable productions. And now I am excited to be a part of an exciting new era with David Thacker, and from the moment I saw the upcoming season, I got quite excited!

I worked with the National Theatre on the original tour of Rafta, Rafta when it came to The Lowry in 2008. I remember sitting with a packed audience in hysterical laughter watching it in the Littleton Theatre in London and thinking: “this is a play set in Bolton, for Bolton – this should be on at the Octagon”. Two years down the line, this has come true!

But amongst the season, the one that caught my eye straight away was All My Sons. Arthur Miller is my favourite playwright and the Octagon’s productions over the years have never failed to realise these extraordinary plays with the drama that they deserve. But my favourite of all the Arthur Miller plays has always been All My Sons. I have seen three different productions and I have never failed to cry. And I’m not a wimp.

But it’s not about what I think. Your thoughts and comments on all aspects of what we do will be vital to us in the coming year.
Please feel free to drop me an e-mail at with any thoughts about the shows or on anything else for that matter.

Thanks Jon. Really excited you are here and for the coming Season...let's get the show on the road!

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