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Hearing voices again

As Oldham Coliseum looks forward to opening its production of Jim Cartwright's classic Road (from September 16), the theatre is preparing to welcome back one of its shows from recent history, last November's Red Ladder production My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored.

Nana-Kofi Kufuor's drama has since been a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, so has been brought back to Oldham – this time in the theatre itself rather than the neighbouring Oldham Library – for one night, September 7.

The play explores, in some depth, aspects of modern life for Black Britons. Fifteen-year-old Reece is roughly accosted by the police in the sight of his young, Black teacher Gillian, who doesn’t question or intervene.

The consequence of her lack of action erupts the next day, when Reece locks them both in a classroom and talk unfolds that will change both their lives.

Nana-Kofi said: "The crux is how two people react to the same situation. They go on a journey a lot of people of colour go on: a realisation that where you are now isn’t necessarily where you come from.

"When working at a pupil referral unit, I once had a student take a knife to stab another student. Once I’d calmed him down we sat in the canteen and he explained to me he wasn’t going to go quietly. The police took him. I saw him a few weeks later and he asked why I didn’t help him. That rush of guilt changed to anger and quickly to sympathy as he saw me as his protector. But I knew I couldn’t do anything.”

More info and tickets here


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