Royal Exchange - "We felt that Someone's Sons is an incredibly ambitious piece of work which is warm and engaging"
Royal Exchange - "We felt that you had created an authentic world with vivid characters and there was a real sense of truth at the heart of the work"
"chosen to perform at the Octagon for their Reveal Season, beating some stiff opposition"
On the Go Theatre Company was conceived because of an avid interest in all aspects of theatre. Its members met several years ago at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, where they were all members of ‘Artbeat’ - a group for the over 50s with a keen interest in drama and theatre. There they received encouragement to develop their writing and performance skills, and explore all kinds of theatre, including themes affecting the lives of local people.
Six years ago, the newly formed On the Go Theatre Company, were asked to perform sketches in local schools that would create an understanding of issues affecting people of different ages and cultures.
Following on from this, the writers also produced and performed sketches for an older audience, to encourage a feeling of well-being and to create community cohesion.
All the members of On The Go Theatre Company are interested in local history and four plays were written in fairly quick succession.
The first play is Saint or Sinner, written by Kath Bateman. This is about the life of Edith Rigby, who was a suffragette. Edith was responsible for burning down Lord Leverhulme's bungalow at Rivington, near Bolton, in order to highlight the cause of women's suffrage.
The second play is Cotton Queen, written by Josie Byrne. This is about life in a Lancashire Cotton Mill in the 1930s. This play covers the event of the Cotton Queen competition, which was held every year in Blackpool.
The third play is Words of War, written by Josie Byrne and Kath Bateman. This play was written at the request of the Westhoughton History Society. It tells of two local lads who, seeking adventure and foreign shores, decide to enlist in the army to fight for their country. The play covers what happens when they join up and end up in the trenches on the front line in France.
The fourth play is Someone's Sons, another play about WW1, and written by Josie Byrne and Kath Bateman. It was commissioned by Wigan Council and is about how war affected local people. We learn about the Prisoner of War Camp, based in Leigh, and the Zeppelin raid on Wigan. It looks at the effects of war on local families and the role that women played during wartime.
The fifth play is Dirty Face which portrays a time of poverty and hardship after WW1 for the families in Wigan. The women are out of work when the men return and have to start work on the pit brow, but their jobs are threatened by MPs in London and the girls decide to march in protest.
The sixth play is 'Twists of Fate' and tells how Horwich has transformed from a sleepy little hamlet into a thriving town over the past 240 years. From the coming of the Bleachworks, then the arrival of the Loco Works followed by the Middlebrook Retail Park and Football Stadium and finally its all change again in 2017.
On the Go Theatre Company meet every Tuesday at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, to rehearse and plan ahead. Plays are performed for many different groups and venues, including Bolton Little Theatre, the Octagon Reveal Season, history groups and all kinds of charitable groups.
The Company has a constitution, and aims to bring people together; to inform and create an understanding of local history, and also to enhance the enjoyment of theatre.
The group applies for funding to support its activities, including the services of a director, travel costs, advertising and props.
At the present time there are 15 members in the group and everyone has a part to play. All members enjoy the challenge of live theatre and have a great sense of enthusiasm for the arts.
- To inform and raise awareness of local historical events in an entertaining, informative and dramatic way to people of all ages and backgrounds.
- To create our own material, as and when requested, regarding topics of interest to local communities
- To be open to new ideas and challenges – researching and collating information and extending our own awareness – presenting this as play/productions/presentations.
- To continuously update our experience within the company – grasping new ideas and concepts which help to improve our productions including visiting Directors.
- To present a positive role model for older people encouraging them to develop skills and interact socially
An ambtion realised - to write and act - thanks to the Octagon Art Beat project.
Degree in creative writing. Joining On The Go has enabled me to use my skills by writing plays for the group
Event availability can differ depending on whether it's a private or public showing, ticket price and remaining seats left. please contact us for more information if you're looking to attend.
Whether it's a private showing that you'd like, or a feature at a large event, we can perform our plays for any audience and venue. Please get in touch for more details.
If you've not got an event planned, but would still like to see us, we can put an event together in your local area or town for an audience near you. Please get in touch if you would like to see us.
As we are a creative group, we are always looking for new ideas and challenges. We can write performances based on topics that our audience would like to see performed.
If you have any questions about On The Go Theatre Company, one of our shows or would like us to perform for you at an event/show, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us using the form below.