Rifco Theatre Company and Oldham Coliseum Theatre collaborate to bring British Asian theatre to Oldham.
Over the next three years Rifco Theatre Company and Oldham Coliseum Theatre will co-produce and present new midscale and studio work as well as collaborating on Rifco’s artist development strand – Rifco Associates.
The partnership commences in 2018 with Rifco, Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre co-producing and presenting a new play Dishoom! by acclaimed playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (Behsharam, Behud, Khandan). The play is currently in development and will open in Watford in September 2018 followed by two weeks at Oldham and then touring the UK.
Rifco previously toured to Oldham Coliseum Theatre with Britain’s Got Bhangra (2011), Break The Floorboards (2013) and Happy Birthday Sunita (2014). The partnership renews Rifco’s relationship with the theatre and with audiences in the North West, celebrating British Asian culture and society, giving voice to unheard stories and putting new talent centre stage.
Pravesh Kumar, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Rifco said “Our audiences in the North West have been asking us to bring our productions to the area and we are thrilled to have partnered up with Oldham Coliseum Theatre to make this happen. Through creating work that is relevant, engaging and accessible we encourage working class communities to experience theatre. Rifco are looking forward deepening our relationship with the theatre, artists and the local community through our unique brand of British Asian plays and musicals.”
Kevin Shaw, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Oldham Coliseum Theatre adds “Oldham Coliseum Theatre sees a very strong artistic fit with Rifco, we share a vision and values and the relationship will enable both companies to develop and grow. We are delighted to be entering a three-year partnership, it is precisely the kind of initiative that will enable us to create exciting work for our stage, grow audiences, support pathways for emerging artists and leaders and create strong, vibrant and accessible British Asian productions.”
Rifco Theatre Company
Over the last 17 years Rifco has gained a reputation for attracting a British Asian audience to regional theatres for the very first time. The work is vibrant, entertaining, ambitious and accessible. Rifco presents audiences with work of scale and spectacle, that has contemporary relevance, but also work that challenges attitudes.
The company is inspired by untold stories and under-represented voices, but most of all tells stories about a universal theme – the family. This is at the root of Rifco’s success in connecting strongly with its core audience.
Rifco’s focus is on new writing and developing new writers and produces work under the banners Rifco Theatre Company (mid scale) and Rifco Studio (small scale).
Rifco Associates is about nurturing talent, both younger artists and mid-career in all areas of theatre production.
Rifco’s awards include Best Live Event – Break The Floorboards, Asian Media Awards 2013 and The People’s Favourite Musical – Britain’s Got Bhangra, Off West End Theatre Awards 2011.
Rifco are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and Resident Company at Watford Palace Theatre.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre
Oldham Coliseum Theatre is a cultural and educational charity that works with over 150,000 individuals per year.
The Coliseum has a rich history in Greater Manchester dating back to 1885. It provides a wide variety of distinctive theatre performances and participatory activities for people from all communities in Oldham, Greater Manchester and beyond. It creates eight original productions each year, of which up to half are newly-commissioned work, which are presented at the Coliseum and on tour. Intrinsic to the town’s on-going regeneration, the theatre works with its local communities and young people to develop creative programmes to facilitate learning, engagement and community cohesion.
The Coliseum is actively engaged with Oldham Council and Arts Council England to deliver a new theatre in the town by 2020.