Jim Cartwright’s Two and world premiere of Two 2

Octagon Theatre Bolton, Two, photography Michael Shelford - no title high res

The Octagon Theatre and the University of Bolton are delighted to present Jim Cartwright’s celebrated play, Two (21 January – 6 February 2016) followed by the world premiere of its sequel, Two 2 (10 – 27 February 2016).

An internationally acclaimed playwright and actor, originally from Farnworth, Lancashire, Jim’s work is among the most performed in the Octagon’s history, including critically acclaimed productions of Road, Eight Miles High, Bed & Baths, and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which played to sell-out audiences in 2012. Last year, the Octagon premiered The Ancient Secret of Youth and the Five Tibetans, described by The Guardian as ‘a deeply affecting and authentic tale of the pursuit of youth’.

First performed at the Octagon in 1989, the Sunday Times described Two as a ‘brilliantly, surrealistically and comically poetic’ play, and the production won the Manchester Evening News Best New Play Award before transferring to the Young Vic in London. Subsequently, this ever-popular piece has scarcely been off stage, and has been revived twice at the Octagon over the years.

Starring Katy Cavanagh (Coronation Street, The Street, ITV, Bodies, Hatrick, Rehab BBC film, Vacumming Completely Nude in Paradise, Destiny Films, Ghosts, Royal Exchange, Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance, Oxford Stage Company) in her first stage role in twelve years, and Colin Connor (A View from the Bridge, Early One Morning, Journey’s End, Octagon Theatre, Stones in his Pockets, The New Vic Theatre, Peaky Blinders, BBC2 Hollyoaks, Lime Pictures), Two follows the lives of a landlord and lady, ingeniously introducing the many characters who pass through their pub, from early doors to last orders, over the course of a whirlwind evening.

Commenting on her return to the stage, Katy said: “I am delighted to be a part of the Octagon’s forthcoming season in 2016.

I am very much looking forward to working with David Thacker and have been a huge fan of Jim Cartwright for as long as I can remember. I feel privileged and very excited to bring the characters in Two 2 to life for the first time in this world premiere.

As a Bolton lass, the Octagon Theatre holds a special place in my heart. I saw so many fantastic and inspiring productions there during my childhood, and I joined the youth theatre as soon as I could. As a teenager I was lucky enough to see the original production of Two with John McArdle and Sue Johnson. I was blown away by it. It is an honour to follow in their footsteps and bring the play back home to the Octagon once again.”

With two actors bringing fourteen characters to life, Two exposes the unpredictable personalities and drunken revelations of the regulars – and irregulars – found in this Northern boozer. However, fast forward a few years and punters are few and far between.

Two 2 seemingly begins at the end of the road for the once-bustling pub, and despite all attempts at quiz nights, karaoke, and pub grub, it could soon be last orders for the struggling landlord and lady themselves. At odds with one another, but holding it together one shift at a time, their lives have become as bitter as the ale they serve.

But when a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself in the form of a one-way ticket out of there, will either of them have the courage to turn their backs on the pub and, most importantly, each other?

Director David Thacker commented: “I am thrilled with the casting of Katy Cavanagh and Colin Connor.

Colin shows extraordinary versatility and has an exceptional capacity to morph from one character to another.

He has a huge emotional range and is an exceptionally gifted comedian. He is one of the most talented actors I’ve ever worked with and I’m delighted that he’s accepted our offer to perform in this exciting combination of

Two, a contemporary classic and the world premiere of the sequel, Two 2.

Katy Cavanagh is an actor that I’ve long admired and I have been eager for the opportunity to work with her.

She’s taken the brave step of leaving Coronation Street to enable herself to work in theatre which is her first love.

I know that Colin and Katie will form a dynamic and explosive partnership on stage and make the audience weep with laughter and sorrow, as Jim Cartwright’s remarkable plays demand.”

Source- Octagon Bolton

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