I’m fairly sure you couldn’t have missed the news but in case you have – the new Metrolink line has finally arrived in central Oldham. The new tram route feels like such a momentous moment for Oldham for so many reasons, mostly as it signals the start of some serious regeneration plans for the town. The transformation of Union Street, complete with two new tram stops is pivotal to the plans that are already underway to kick-start Oldham with new cultural and business opportunities. It also signals a very long wait for Oldhammers who have lived with major road disruptions for years in anticipation of the new line.
With the Metrolink network continuing to expand Oldham is now far more accessible from elsewhere in Greater Manchester than ever before. Now anyone shopping in the centre of Manchester can hop on a tram and be at the Coliseum or Gallery Oldham or the forthcoming cinema or heritage centre in no time at all. The leisure and entertainment offering in Oldham is set to increase rapidly from now, and of course we here at the Coliseum are looking forward to welcoming those who may have recently hesitated at navigating the road works back to the theatre.
And speaking of theatre we are all looking forward to tonight’s opening of Bedroom Farce. The play is written by Alan Ayckbourn, who’s Sugar Daddies was thoroughly enjoyed by audiences last year and which earned Paul Webster and Heather Phoenix a nominations in the imminent Manchester Theatre Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
Returning to the Coliseum to direct the show is Robin Herford, who worked very closely with Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough – there aren’t many who know more about Ayckbourn’s plays than Robin, aside from perhaps Alan himself.
Having Robin here to direct doesn’t mean I have allowed myself to have a quiet few weeks however. Monday sees the deadline to finish the script for next year’s panto –Aladdin – believe it or not. Christmas may have only just come and gone again, but we need all the time we can get in order to design the show and create the fantastic costumes, sets and props for our much-loved festive show.
See you at the theatre,