Theatre review: The Family Way at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

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No matter how good a play is, the audience will only get out of it what the actors put into it.

And when the acting is of such quality as demonstrated here, what you get out of it is a heck of a lot.

There is laughter and there are tears; there is hope and there is disappointment. And it is all handled with such conviction that you cannot fail to be enthralled or empathise with its characters.

Those characters include newly-weds Violet and Arthur Fitton (Jessica Baglow and Harry Long) and their parents, Ezra and Lucy Fitton (David Birrell and Barbara Drennan) and Leslie and Liz Piper (Colin Connor and Kathy Jamieson).

Between them, the matter of the new marriage being consummated becomes all-consuming and gives rise to the full range of emotions. Being set in Bolton and written by Bolton hero Bill Naughton, it will have a particular resonance with the local patrons but of course a Bill Naughton play would be welcome anywhere. His work deserves the very best treatment and that is what it gets here.

The play runs until October 3rd with tickets available on 01204-520661.