Cant Pay Wont Pay at the Octagon Theatre Review


Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay
Octagon Theatre, Bolton

25 April – 18 May 2013

Reviewed by Emma Bradley

I have to admit I was slightly nervous about going to see a play with a cast of just 5 people which was over 2 hours long, whilst we have been to the theatre on many occasions they have mainly been to big productions, we have never been to a smaller local theatre.

The Octagon Theatre is a real treat, I can’t believe it has been on our doorstep all this time. The theatre is set in the round which makes for a really intimate performance with all seats having a really great view of the stage area. Far from being a little local theatre, it has all the facilities that you would somewhere much bigger, with a café, pre –theatre dining and a bar overlooking the beautiful Le Mans Crescent.

The play its self was very topical, set in Italy in 1974, at a time of economic crisis, it explores the moral dilemma of two families who end up with looted produce, whilst the police try to catch up with those that took goods. It was written by Dario Fo and has been translated into English, despite being set in the 1970s so much of it was relevant to the current day hardships and struggles to put food on the table and pay the bills.

It was quite literally a riot of laughs, I don’t think there was a member of the audience who wasn’t wiping tears from their eyes at some point! The 5 actors had the great balance of performing the play whilst ensuring that the audience felt included and it felt like you were sat right their in the living room with them. I would highly recommend going to see this play if you ever get the chance you would not be disappointed.

We were also fortunate enough to hear David Thacker, the Octagons Artistic Direct highlight what look set to be a very successful forthcoming theatre season at the Octagon, with 8 new plays on offer. There is something for all theatre lovers in the new season from the popular ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘Robin Hood’ , a bit of Shakespeare in the ‘Twelfth Night’ and some more local plays including ‘Hobsons Choice’ and ‘Brassed Off’. The other plays ‘This May Hurt A Bit’, ‘Duet For One’, ‘Seperation’ and ‘Love Story’ look equally as compelling.

I know myself and my husband will be booking tickets to some of these very soon. Tickets to the plays can be purchased for as little as £13.50 for an adult ticket, with many discounts available for group or family bookings, they also have a very reasonable season ticket which allows you to watch all 8 of next season’s shows with a 50% discount.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £23.50 – £9.50.

For more information or to book tickets click here.

Photo (L-R): Eamonn Riley as Inspector, Kate Coogan as Margherita and Lynda Rooke as Antonia.
Photo Credit: Ian Tilton

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