Two more stories of growing up in Oldham



Oldham Coliseum has added two more free Micro Commissions to its website, A Brew, A Terrace and the 184 and The Newcomer – two stories about growing up in Oldham in the 1950s and today.

A Brew, A Terrace and the 184 is a filmed play that follows the lives of brother and sister Adam and Jess, who return home after their mother’s death to begin moving her possessions. Along the way we learn what life was like as a family living on the breadline.

The work has been created by Bog Standard Creatives – Chloe Heywood and Rowan Prescott – who met at Oldham College and were both involved in the Coliseum’s youth programs before studying drama.

The Newcomer by Joyce Branagh and read by Sarah Groarke, is an audio play telling the true story of Sophie Wild, who came to the UK in the 1950s and wound up in Oldham.

The story came out of a workshop for the Coliseum’s over-50s group before the pandemic, where award-winning actress and directorJoyce asked what stories members thought would work on the theatre’s stage. Several people mentioned Sophie, a member of the group born in Poland, who at 12 had spent 18 months in a wartime concentration camp before coming to England. She found a home and eventually became a nurse.

The Coliseum’s Micro Commissions are responding to the pandemic-bound world we currently inhabit, a year on from its inception. Further commissioned pieces will be released throughout May.

These and other works in the series are available on the theatre website here