Oldham Coliseum has announced its first full season since the pandemic began in March 2020 - and yes, the theatre’s famous annual pantomime is back!
After a 12 month delay, Aladdin appears on his magic carpet from November 13 until January 8, 2022 in a theatre famous for producing one of the country’s favourite traditional pantomimes, with a long tradition of hit songs, silliness and festive fun.
But first, over the summer the theatre will return to rehearsals for the Coliseum’s first home-produced show since the start of the pandemic. Love N Stuff (September 16-October 2) is a comedy about Bindi and Mansoor, formerly star-crossed lovers, now everyone’s favourite couple. But Mansoor has decided to move back to India, and Bindi has hatched a plan to get him to stay. In Tanika Gupta’s comedy two actors play almost 20 characters, and following its Oldham debut the show will start a national tour.
On October 6-7 verbatim theatre company LUNG Theatre returns to Oldham with Who Cares, after scoring a hit on a previous Coliseum visit with Trojan Horse, about supposedly hard-line Muslim governors plotting to enforce extremist views on Birmingham schools.
Who Cares follows a young girl who has been caring for her mother since she was four - and now finds herself caring for her father too; and a young boy, Connor, who looks after his moth. It's a hard-hitting piece, written from real-life accounts, about the failures of our care system.
In lighter mood the John Godber Company returns from October 19-23 in Godber’s latest play, Sunny Side Up, about the owners of a struggling Yorkshire B&B handling awkward clients and snooty relatives in a seaside story about “staycations”.
Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow (October 26-30), starring Coronation Street veterans Wendi Peters and Bill Ward, arrives for Hallowe’en.
Written by Coliseum-supported playwright Nana-Kofi Kufuor, My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored will run at Oldham Library on November 15-16. Originally intended to be seen at the Coliseum last November, it’s a powerful piece about Black identity.
After the panto, Coliseum artistic director Chris Lawson directs Joe Penhall’s Olivier, Critics Circle and Evening Standard best-play awards winner Blue/Orange (February 17-March 5), in which a young man sectioned in a psychiatric ward is due to go home – until an orange throws his diagnosis into question.
The season also features Richard Cameron’s raucous comedy The Glee Club (March 15-19, 2022) and Eastern Angles’ retelling of a real-life murder mystery, The Ballad of Maria Marten (March 22-26, 2022), Julia Donaldson’s Zog (coming up this August 12 – 14) and Northern Ballet’s children’s ballet Pinocchio (February 10, 2022).
The season also has several one-night and music events – full season details here