Bolton School Former Pupils

School Launches Community Theatre Project

  • Mass Observation Project Roughhouse Theatre
  • Mass Observation Project RoughHouse Theatre workshop
  • Mass Observation Project boys working with RoughHouse Theatre
  • Mass Observation Project Roughhouse Theatre directors

As part of their 2017/18 School Residency Programme, RoughHouse Theatre will develop a brand new piece of verbatim theatre about Boltonians, played by Boltonians, with material generated by the School community and the wider Bolton community. Using the 1937 Mass Observation project that originated in Bolton as a starting point, the theatre company and School will embark upon a series of interviews, assignments and interactive pop-up events that will place focus upon the people and communities of Bolton, 80 years after the original project. Further details about the Mass Observation Project can be found on the BBC website.

Material for the project will be generated within Schools across Bolton, via pop-up ‘memory cafes’ at our local theatre The Octagon, and digitally via questionnaires drawn from the ongoing Mass Observation Project curated by the University of Sussex. The whole School community, including pupils, staff, parents and alumni, will have an opportunity to contribute to the project in some way.

Miss Lord, the Boys' Division Director of Drama, said, “We believe that the project is an exciting opportunity for our pupils and the wider School community to collectively and creatively connect to our locality and local history.”

Mass Observation questionnaires will be circulated on a monthly basis between October 2017 and March 2018 via email to the School community and on the School website. If you would like to contribute your thoughts to the project, please complete any or all of the questionnaires as they are released and submit them to RoughHouse Theatre (

You can track the project’s process and read about upcoming events via the School newsletter and School’s social media platforms, particularly @BoltonSchool and @drama_bsbd on Twitter.

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