Staff at the University of Bolton are invited to share in an amazing celebration of Shakespeare’s legacy.

To mark the 400th anniversary of his death, the University and The Octagon Theatre are hosting numerous exciting events. The University of Bolton wants to invite you to join us as we uncover the life and works of this incredible, globally recognised playwright.

William Shakespeare is arguably the best playwright of all time. Shakespeare had the ability to capture almost every human emotion impeccably and create characters with a magnitude of depth, making his literature both fascinating and timeless. Shakespeare added more than 3,000 words to the English language, many of which are spoken every day and all around the world.

His attention to detail when considering the placement of words meant he could capture human emotion more successfully than any other writer. His thorough understanding of human nature resulted in him having a global influence, with over half of the world’s students still studying Shakespeare today, 400 years after his death.



David Thacker, Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton and Associate Artistic Director at the Octagon, said of the celebration: ‘The incredible impact of Shakespeare and his work on literature and drama is something that we at the Octagon are proud to showcase on our stage. This has become even more important to me now, as Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton. The University and the Octagon both feel that it is important, during the 400th anniversary of his death, to come together to celebrate Shakespeare’s extraordinary achievement. The celebration is open to everyone, from Shakespeare enthusiasts to those who may not have encountered Shakespeare at all. This is an opportunity for people to gain insight into Shakespeare and his world, to learn something new, and to join us and the University in applauding his contribution to literature and drama.’


Fri 4 November, 9.30am – 4.15pm

Throughout the day there will be a series of talks about different aspects of Shakespeare’s work from experts and actors from across the country. Discussions will include; Comic-Strip Shakespeare, Shakespeare and the battle for diversity in twenty-first century UK theatre and there will also be a chance to gain an insight into Octagon Theatre’s current production of The Winter’s Tale. 

Sat 5 November, 10am – 5pm

Discover how Shakespeare’s personal dramas and the political climate of the time led him to create some of the greatest plays ever written. David Thacker will work on stage with 24 actors who will present a variety of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays including some of his most famous (Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet) to the little known play of Sir Thomas More.


Upcoming Events

The University and the Octagon are hosting four events.


The William Shakespeare 400 Year Anniversary Lecture
Main Lecture Theatre, University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB

To book, please visit the event page


Press night of The Winter’s Tale – a University/ Octagon Co-production

 To book, please email:


The Annual University of Bolton and Octagon Theatre Gala evening
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1SB

To book, please visit the event page


The Octagon Theatre presents:
Professor David Thacker in conversation with Professor Richard Wilson –

An investigation into William Shakespeare
Full Day Events £10 per day

For further details visit:

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