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Coliseum gets back on stage in June for busy summer

Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play in the History of the World. Pic: Savannah Photographic
Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play in the History of the World. Pic: Savannah Photographic

Oldham Coliseum will welcome theatregoers back into the building from June 24 at the start of a busy summer season combining live theatre and new online events.

After over a year of Covid-19 closure, the first live show will be Ian Kershaw’s award-winning Edinburgh Fringe one-woman show The Greatest Play in the History of the World (Jun 24-26), starring his wife, Julie Hesmondhalgh.

The play starts and ends in an unassuming house on a quiet road, with Julie narrating the story of two neighbours and the people on their street, in a story that celebrates people in all their messiness, confusion and joy.

The play ran in Edinburgh at the 2018 festival before transferring to Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio and London’s West End a year later.

In a new venture the Coliseum joins forces with Canadian company Impel Theatre in a cross-Atlantic collaboration, An Acorn, starring Mina Anwar and Darren Jeffries, alongside Canadian actors Blythe Haynes and Ryan G Hinds. An Acorn is a live digital performance over Zoom, but with an interactive twist – the two pairs of actors have never met before.

In Canada, Blythe and Ryan will appear fully rehearsed, while in the UK, Mina and Darren will receive a script with specific instructions only an hour before the performance. Audience members will receive instructions on the day on how to interact with the show.

An Acorn appears on May 6 at 8pm, with a recorded version then available from May 7-17.

Coliseum regulars LipService make a virtual return on Zoom in multimedia haunted house thriller Château Ghoul (May 8 ) East Yorkshire’s trendy boutique hotel offering themed weekends. Hosts Brian and Brenda Binns host events such as Psychic Attraction (like Fatal Attraction but without the rabbit), an Upcycling weekend (not to be confused with the Tour de Yorkshire), and the popular 1970’s Shanga Langa Waddy Ding Dong experience. Fun for all the family, except the guests keep dying...

Back on stage, Dare to Know Theatre’s Drowning is a one-man show following an intelligent but naive teenager with extreme views on mental health. As Josh’s world crumbles around him his life begins to spiral out of control.

Drowning was originally due in the Coliseum studio a year ago, then was rescheduled (and again cancelled) last November. It finally gets on stage on July 3.

The season also features stage work from third-year drama students (July 15-17) for their final student performances; previously rescheduled children’s favourite Zog (Aug 12-14) from last year, and three events for Oldham Pride over the week of July 19-25.

Full season details here


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