Peter Kay performed three secret gigs in Bolton to raise funds for the Octagon theatre

Only a few hundred people got to go.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 11th December 2023

For a man who is arguably the most famous comedian in the UK, Peter Kay sure is good at keeping a secret.

There’s been a total blanket ban on content from his shows at the AO Arena (and he’s doing more than 40…), with nothing much in the way of spoilers.

The beloved star’s latest treat that he kept almost entirely under wraps was three stand-up gigs in his hometown.

The chance to see Bolton-born Peter Kay in such an intimate setting is pretty remarkable after his huge achievement selling out arenas across the country.

It was the first time he’s performed in Bolton for more than 20 years, and was all to raise funds for the Octagon theatre.


The chance to grab tickets was only even offered to a select few people, with priority access given to Octagon members and patrons of the theatre. Then whatever was left were offered to those signed up to the theatre’s mailing list, selling out in seconds.

Peter Kay performed brand new material and celebrated the best of Bolton to an intimate audience at the theatre where he used to work on the box office.


The series of performances, sponsored by Carrs Pasties (how very Bolton) raised more than £80,000 for the Octagon, which is a registered charity.

One fan who was there said: “Peter Kay was wonderful. An incredible experience to see such an outstanding warmly funny comedian in such an intimate setting. So proud of the Octagon and what it does for the community of Bolton, both on and off stage.”

Another said: “He was absolutely fantastic, we were so lucky and pleased to be able to watch him yesterday! He’s made December special for many there’s no doubt. Thank you octagon for putting on such a great show.”


Chief Executive at the Octagon, Roddy Gauld, commented: “We had an incredible day on Sunday with three shows by Peter Kay.

“Over one thousand people got the chance to be part of a hilarious, exclusive, and up-close performance with one of Britain’s best loved comedians, here in his hometown. It was a unique experience that Octagon donors and returning customers were able to book.

“We’re a charity and rely upon fundraising. Every pound allows us to create more magical, creative experiences on and off stage for young people and communities in Bolton and beyond.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Peter for his support and to Carrs Pasties, who sponsored the shows. We raised a total of £80k and a big thank you to everyone who came, donated, and joined a memorable event that people will be talking about for years.

“Peter was a member of our Youth Theatre before working in our box office, and his talent and passion for comedy was clear then. So, you never know who you’ll meet when you book a ticket or see a show here!”


You can sign up to the Octagon’s mailing list to be the first to find out about events like this in the future here.

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Featured image: Octagon