Joe O'Byrne's hit play The Bench returns to the North West next week. Hightly acclaimed and uncompromising, the play arrives at Bolton next week. We caught up with Joe recently and asked him to give us his five reasons why you should see the play.


 
1. The Beginning
The Bench is a good entry point into the Tales from Paradise Heights series of plays and films. Paradise Heights is a fictional North West council estate I’ve created and is the backdrop for much of my writing and directing. It’s a very lively community and The Bench certainly reflects that in the glimpses we get into the lives of sixteen very varied characters that live here.

2. Feedback
Audiences across the board have been really moved by the production, as I think it touches something in everyone. We all either are very like or we know someone very like a character in The Bench, and I think we have all at some point tussled with a problem or situation similar to that thrown up in the story.
 
3. The Reviews 
I can promise you quite an extraordinary show, and you don’t have to take my word for that, just google the reviews, particularly from whatsonstage.com. The play will be quite an experience and something that you will remember and maybe take with you, if nothing else if you ever sit on a park bench again I guarantee you will think about this play...so come down bring your mates and share a couple of hours with us, you'll be very glad you did and you will be the reward for the enormous efforts of this extremely talented cast.

4.  The Cast
The play is blessed with an incredibly talented cast. They are all Paradise Heights regulars who create sixteen very real characters between them.  It’s billed as a comedy but there are some real psychological issues thrown up in the play, situations that are very traumatic at times and demand that an actor doesn’t just visit the characters state of mind, no they have to stay there for an uncomfortable amount of time.  

5. Last Chance
This is probably the last time the play will be performed in the Manchester/Salford area, we’re looking to take the play further afield now -  so this is your last chance to see the show in this neck of the woods, so come down and join us for a play you will never forget.

The Bench runs at the Bolton Octagon from 29 - 30 September.