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Full Cast Announced for Timberlake Wertenbaker's WINTER HILL at the Octagon Theatre

Octagon Theatre Bolton has announced full casting for their forthcoming world premiere production of Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play Winter Hill.

The production's all-female cast will feature Cathy Tyson (BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated Mona Lisa; Band of Gold, ITV and most recently onstage in Nikolai Forster's production of The Importance of Being Earnest, Birmingham Rep) as Irene; Denise Black (Denise Osbourne in Coronation Street and Joanie Wright in Emmerdale, Both ITV; Cucumber and Queer as Folk , Channel 4 and onstage in Pack at the Finborough Theatre and as Mother Superior in the UK tour of Sister Act) as Dolly; Louise Jameson (Doc Martin, ITV; Doctor Who, EastEnders and Bergerac, BBC) as Beth; Fiona Hampton ( Of Mice and Men, The Glass Menagerie and Private Live, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Emma and Janet Henfrey (Wolf Hall, The Singing Detective and as Mrs Bale in As Time Goes By (all BBC) as Felicity.

Joining them will be Souad Faress (Linda in Brief Encounters, ITV and Bridget Jones Diary, Bhaji on the Beach and My Beautiful Laundrette) as Vivian, Eva-Jane Willis (Magnificence, Finborough Theatre And We Really Should Do Something, Bush Theatre) as Alex and Susan Twist (Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as The Fury.

The production will be directed by Octagon Theatre's Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman.

Set in Bolton, in the near future, Winter Hill centres on a group of eight local women, as they deal with the ramifications of land on nearby Winter Hill being sold to developers to create a luxurious skyscraper hotel - the largest in Europe. To appease the local community, they are promised by developers that a new school and social housing will also be built on the hill. However, as the money begins to run out, these plans are scrapped leading to the group meeting up in a half-built hotel to discuss what, if anything, can be done about it and if power can ever truly belong to the people.

Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play explores how a group of seemingly ordinary women endeavour to protect their local community, no matter the cost and questioning the lengths people go to for a cause they believe in and at what point does the fight for freedom become terrorism?

Winter Hill will be playing at the Octagon Theatre Bolton between Thu 11 May - Sat 3 June 2017.


A new play by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Directed by Elizabeth Newman
Designed by Amanda Stoodley
Lighting Designer - Chris Davey
Sound Designer - Ben Occhipinti
Movement Director - Lesley Hutchison

Cast Denise Black (Dolly), Souad Faress (Vivian), Fiona Hampton (Emma), Janet Henfrey (Felicity), Louise Jameson (Beth) Cathy Tyson (Irene), Susan Twist (The Fury) and Eva-Jane Willis (Alex).

Dates: Thursday 11 May - Saturday 3 June
Performances: Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm (Except Monday 22 May at 5pm)
Matinee performances: 12, 20, 24, 27 & 31 May at 2.00pm
Post Show Talk: Monday 15 May with Timberlake Wertenbaker and Monday 22 May with cast and director
Investigate Day: Saturday 22 May from 10am (Contact Octagon Theatre Bolton for further details)

Address: Octagon Theatre Bolton, Howell Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1SB

Tickets: £27.50-£11 (Concessions available)
Group and School tickets: Available
Box Office: 01204 520661 Online Booking:

Timberlake Wertenbaker grew up in the Basque Country and lives in London. Her plays include Jefferson's Garden (Watford Palace Theatre, winner of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Best Play Award 2015), The Grace of Mary Traverse, Our Country's Good, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, The Break of Day and Credible Witness (Royal Court), The Ant and the Cicada, The Love of the Nightingale (Royal Shakespeare Company), Galileo's Daughter (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Ash Girl (Birmingham Rep), After Darwin (Hampstead Theatre), The Line (Arcola Theatre), Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse, Arden City (NT Connections). Her translations and adaptations include Sophocles' Theban Plays and Ariane Mnouchkine's Mephisto (Royal Shakespeare Company), Euripides' Hecuba (The Geary, San Francisco) and Euripides' Hippolytus (Riverside Studios), Eduardo De Filippo's Filumena (Peter Hall Company at the Piccadilly), Sophocles' Elektra (The Geary, San Francisco), Racine's Phèdre (Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario) and Racine's Britannicus (Wilton's Music Hall). TV and Film productions include The Children and Do Not Disturb. Opera includes The Love of the Nightingale, music by Richard Mills (Perth International Arts Festival and Sydney Opera House). Radio includes Dianeira, The Memory of Gold and a ten hour dramatization of Tolstoy's War and Peace (New Year's Day, 2015). Timberlake is currently adapting the Elena Ferrante quartet for the BBC. Short pieces include Isaac Newton's phone call for Talking Statues (British Library Courtyard), Shampoo (Walking the Tightrope, Underbelly, 2105) and We Sell Right (The Magna Carta Plays, Salisbury Playhouse 2015). Other Awards include the Olivier and the Drama Critics' award for Our Country's Good; the Susan Smith Blackburn, the Writers' Guild of Great Britain and the Critics' Circle awards for Three Birds Alighting on a Field. Timberlake is a member of PEN, a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature and the Chair in Playwriting at the University of East Anglia.

Elizabeth Newman is the Octagon Theatre's Artistic Director. She came to the Octagon in 2009, having worked as Artistic Director of Shared Property Theatre, Associate Director of Southwark Playhouse, and directed at Oxford Playhouse, Old Vic, Hampstead Theatre, and Theatre503, amongst others. A directing graduate of Rose Bruford College, she was a member of the esteemed Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme. Since being at the Octagon Theatre Bolton Elizabeth has directed David Copperfield, Sweeney Todd, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Queen of the North, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Peter Pan, Can't Pay? Won't Pay!, Piaf, Robin Hood, Duet for One, Separation, Love Story, Alice in Wonderland, Private Lives, The Family Way, Singin' in the Rain, To Kill a Mockingbird and Educating Rita as well as a wide range of Studio work, including Should Love Hurt This Much?, The Nose, A Thing Called Love Season, White Nights, Smoking is Bad For You, Seven Jewish Children, First Dates Season, and our Poetry on a Plate recitals. In the role of Associate Director, Elizabeth ran the Octagon New Writing Department and co-ordinated our supplementary season of events and activities. Her role also included developing creative partnerships and managing professional placements.

Octagon Theatre Bolton is a regional producing theatre with the belief that theatre can enrich communities and fundamentally change peoples' lives for the better. It aims to do this through creating a range of entertaining and thought-provoking theatre of the highest quality that inspires and ignites the curiosity of the people of Bolton and beyond. As well as providing opportunities for learning and participation to enable people to realise their potential, express themselves and to help them fly.

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