Ride along for Octagon Theatre’s double-decker Summer Holiday musical

Pack away your thermals and get set for a Summer Holiday bus ride and a unique, 1960s-inspired musical being staged on double-deckers this June for the Octagon Theatre Bolton.

Unfortunately Cliff Richard isn’t starring in this sensational stage adaptation, from Michael Gyngell & Mark Haddigan, but the theatre promises a nostalgic tuppenny ticket to ride aboard an innovative new show.

The musical is part of the Octagon Theatre Bolton’s 50th Anniversary season and will be co-directed by Octagon Theatre’s artistic director Elizabeth Newman and associate director Ben Occhipinti.

During a miserable wet British summer, Don arrives with a borrowed double-decker bus ready to take his friends on a journey to sunny Athens.

Their summer adventure begins in Bolton’s new interchange before embarking on a musical bus journey to the beautifully renovated Albert Halls to see the conclusion of Don’s fun-filled summer escapade across Europe.

Ben and Elizabeth

Featuring songs such as Bachelor Boy, Living Doll, The Young Ones and the title track, Summer Holiday, this retelling of the classic musical film will be brought to life in a new, site-specific, staging by a cast of actors-musicians – not to mention bus drivers.

Audiences will meet at the Bolton Interchange bus station where a short scene will take place.

They will then board six buses, along with actors on each bus, where there will be a song along the way as passengers are driven onto Victoria Square next to Bolton Town Hall.

Audiences will then disembark from the buses to witness the “mini crash” scene outside of the hall – before entering the Albert Halls to watch the remainder of the performance.

Elizabeth Newman said: “As the Octagon building closes for our important redevelopment, we are heading on our adventures as we produce shows out of the building.

“We wanted to offer our audiences some exciting and fun experiences and, since producing Singin’ in the Rain, we’ve been keen to create another joyous musical – so Summer Holiday is the perfect show to begin our adventures!

“It will be an ambitious staging of the musical, with actor-musicians singing, dancing and playing musical instruments in locations across Bolton.

“This will be a version of Summer Holiday never seen before and I can’t wait to share it with audiences.”

The film version of Summer Holiday premiered in 1963 and featured in its cast Cliff Richard, Melvyn Hayes, Una Stubbs, Ron Moody and The Shadows.

The film was directed by Peter Yates with an original screenplay written by Peter Myers and Ronald Cass (who also wrote most of the song numbers and lyrics).

Summer Holiday will be playing at Bolton Travel Interchange and Albert Halls, Bolton between May 31 – June 23.

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