World premiere of The Book Thief announces
Saturday 17th September – Saturday 15th October 2022
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton BL1 1SB
Coming to the Octagon Theatre Bolton this autumn, the musical adaptation of The Book Thief has announced its full creative team. This beloved book is brought to life with a script by award winning author Jodi Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper and Small Great Things) and Timothy Allen McDonald (adaptor of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and James and the Giant Peach). The music and lyrics are by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, Walt Disney Animation Studios; Central Park, Apple TV+). Adapted from Markus Zusak’s worldwide best-selling novel, this hauntingly beautiful tale set in 1930s Nazi-Germany follows courageous young orphan Liesel as she enters a dangerous game of book thievery.
Co-writer Jodi Picoult comments, The Book Thief, as a novel, is a blockbuster that has sold over 20 million copies and deeply moved readers all over the world. Having the chance to bring it to life three-dimensionally in a world premiere musical at the Octagon is a dream for us!
The story of a foster child in Nazi Germany — who learns the power words have to both hurt and to heal — feels painfully relevant today. We hope that Liesel’s journey will inspire audiences to take a stand in the face of adversity, and to be agents of change in an increasingly divided world.
Octagon Artistic Director and director of The Book Thief, Lotte Wakeham added, I am absolutely thrilled to be opening our new season with this world premiere brand new musical adaptation of one of my all-time favourite books. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been busy workshopping the show and I cannot wait for audiences to finally see it! It’s an incredibly relevant, moving story and I’m so happy to be staging it in Bolton in our wonderful, newly refurbished theatre.
I am delighted that we can now announce the brilliant creative team who will be working with me on the production – they are all incredibly talented individuals who have already brought so many fantastic and imaginative ideas to the process. I’m confident that we’re going to create a beautiful and timeless piece of musical theatre.
The production will be directed by the Octagon’s Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham (One Man Two Guvnors, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Peter Pan, Octagon Theatre) and choreographed by Tom Jackson Greaves (Amélie, Criterion Theatre; Rent, Hope Mill Theatre), with musical direction and orchestrations by Matthew Malone (Coming to England, Birmingham Rep; Peter Pan, Octagon Theatre) and design from Good Teeth aka James Perkins and Victoria Smart (The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s Globe; Little Shop of Horrors, Royal Exchange Manchester). The production will also feature lighting design by Nic Farman (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, UK Tour; Spring Awakening, Hope Mill Theatre), puppet design by Samuel Wilde (The Fir Tree, Shakespeare’s Globe; Electra, Bunker Theatre) and sound design by Andy Graham (The Upstart Crow, Apollo Theatre; One Man Two Guvnors, Octagon Theatre).
The wider production team includes Associate Director Georgia Wang Murphy (Cyrano de
Bergerac, Southwark Playhouse; Frills and Spills, Camden People’s Theatre), Associate Musical Director George Strickland (Good Fun, King’s Head Theatre; The Regulars, Hope Mill Theatre), Casting Director Jacob Sparrow (City of Angels, Garrick Theatre; Our Town, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Assistant Casting Director Olivia Barr (Kes, Peter Pan, Octagon Theatre) and Production Manager Dan Turner (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York’s Theatre).
This production is sponsored by Boo Coaching & Consulting