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December 2019 Newsletter

This month our pantomime cast have been out and about in Oldham between performances, we’ve announced the cast of our next home-grown production, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds and we’re looking forward to what’s coming up at the Coliseum in early 2020.

Read all about it – plus even more updates on what’s going on behind the scenes at the theatre – below.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at the Coliseum!


Dame Trott meets her heroes at Boundary Park

Christmas came early for Pantomime Dame, Dame Dotty Trott (AKA Richard J Fletcher) when she visited Boundary Park, to meet Oldham Athletic players and enjoy a special tour.


In our renowned pantomime  Jack and the Beanstalk Dame Trott is a lifelong Latics fan who makes her first entrance in a specially designed Oldham Athletic dress complete with a meat pie sausage roll wig and an Oldham Athletic mobile phone.

The delightful Dame met Latics players: Jamie StottAlex lacovittiTom Hamer and Captain David Wheater on the pitch at the end of training. Dame Trott then enjoyed a tour of the grounds, calling her son Jack (…and the Beanstalk) from the Home Team box and finding her own mini Chaddy the Owl for Christmas.

Dame Dotty Trott is played by Oldham pantomime legend Richard J Fletcher, who has been a part of the Coliseum’s pantomime family since 2008.


Richard said: It’s great to be back at Boundary Park. When I was a schoolboy I used to play our home games for Oldham Town on the astroturf here on a Saturday morning, so it feels like coming back home.”


Richard, from Greenfield, grew up watching the Coliseum’s pantomime with Kenneth Alan Taylor and Jeffrey Longmore playing the Dame in the 1980s and 90s. He trained in physical theatre at drama school and lived in London for twenty years, when he returned to Oldham he joined the Coliseum’s pantomime as the Comic. After 11 years as Oldham’s beloved high flying, heel kicking Panto Comic this year Richard plays the Pantomime Dame for the first time.

Richard’s other recent credits include the Coliseum’s 2017 musical ode to Oldham Athletic, Meat Pie, Sausage Roll, the Coliseum’s productions of Oh What A Lovely War and Up ‘N’ Under and a national tour of Northern Broadsides‘ Much Ado About Nothing.


“If you only see one pantomime this year make it this one!”
Oldham Reporter


Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s nationally renowned pantomime has been putting the extra sparkle into the festive season for generations; with all the ingredients for fantastic family fun: hit songs, silliness, a sprinkling of fairy dust and a generous helping of It’s Behind You! With a fairy, a GIANT and a hippy cow,  Jack and the Beanstalk is the perfect Christmas treat for kids and not-so-grown-up grown-ups.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Saturday 11 January 2020. Click here to learn more and book tickets



Build your own Season Ticket

With our flexible Season Ticket your love of theatre is rewarded with big savings. You have complete control over which shows you see and when.

How does the offer work?

It’s simple, the more you book the more you save

Book two shows – save 5%
Book three shows – save 10%
Book four shows – save 15%
Book five shows – save 20%
Book six shows – save 25%

The shows available in the Spring-Summer 2020 Season Ticket are: The Jungle BookThe Glee Club,  FriendsicalJeeves and Wooster in Perfect NonsenseShandyland and Cooking With Elvis.


There are no set shows that you have to see with a Season Ticket deal, giving you complete control over what you see and what you don’t.

Because our Season Ticket is a flexible offer you can also include shows from our current Autumn-Winter Season: Trojan HorseFour Minutes Twelve Seconds and Absurd Person Singular.


Trojan Horse (6-7 February) looks at the true story of a community torn apart by racial divisions following accusations of ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds (21 February–7 March) is a topical drama that looks at how we see ourselves and others and highlights the dangers of modern technology.

Absurd Person Singular (10-14 March) is Alan Ayckbourn’s much-loved classic set over three successive Christmas parties.

The Jungle Book (3-19 April) is a modern musical reworking of Rudyard Kipling‘s famous children’s story.

The Glee Club (12-16 May) is a raucous comedy about a group of miners preparing for the local gala.

Friendsical (18-20 May) is a musical parody inspired by the gang in Friends.

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (26 & 27 May) is a joyous re-imagining of the classic PG Wodehouse characters.

Shandyland (9-20 June) is a story of life, love, death and drink at the heart of a small, northern, family-run pub.

Cooking With Elvis (11-26 September) is a provocative dark comedy about disability, sex, food and the King.


Season Ticket holders can also save 10% on tickets for award-winning pop-up theatre Roundabout, which comes to Oldham town centre from 27 June – 18 July in co-production with the Coliseum.

Roundabout features three world premiere plays: Hungry by Chris Bush, Black Love by Chinonyerem Odimba and family show Really Big and Really Loud by 2019 Bruntwood Award winner Phoebe Éclair-Powell performed in rep, directed by Paines Plough Joint Artistic Director Katie Posner, plus a new ‘trailblazer’ 30-minute short play, The Inconvenience Store by Charlotte Keatley. It will also host a programme of visiting companies, comedy, music and local community events. Full listings will be announced in due course.


As always, Season Ticket holders can take advantage of free parking on Bradshaw Street for evening performances and, if booking four or more shows, the option to spread the cost by Direct Debit.

To book your Season Ticket click here to book online or call our Box Office on 0161 624 2829


Get involved: Programme for Adults

The Coliseum runs a range of groups for people interested in the many areas of theatre, trying new things and meeting new, like minded people.


Scripts and Scribbles

Scripts and Scribbles are our play reading and writing groups. The sessions, delivered on alternate weeks, explore new and existing pieces of writing and share practical tips and techniques to help you develop your ideas into a rehearsed reading. Beginners welcome.

This year the course will be taught by local playwright Amie George. Amie is the writer and Co-Artistic Director of Rogue Bones Theatre Company. She was part of the Royal Court Writers’ Group in 2016, and has recently had two shows performed in the Coliseum’s studio.

The groups meet on alternate Wednesdays from 11am – 1pm. £3 per session. Scripts starts on Wednesday 15 January and Scribbles on Wednesday 22 January.


Full Circle

Full Circle is a friendly and welcoming group for anyone aged over 50 who’s interested in trying new things and meeting new people. The group meets on a fortnightly basis for talks and activities relating to theatre, the arts and the local area. Each session starts with a talk, followed by a workshop, ranging from dance sessions to play reading and craft sessions.

Sessions run from 10:30am – 2:15pm on alternate Tuesdays starting on Tuesday 14 January. Full Circle is £5 and includes a brew.


For more information about getting involved in any of our groups, contact Carly or Ben on or call 0161 785 7008


Jack and Hazy out in Oldham town centre

Last week our pantomime stars Jack (AKA Sam Glen) and Hazy (AKA Mitesh Soni) headed out into Oldham town centre between performances of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Everyone knows the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk in which a cash-strapped Jack is forced to take his beloved cow to market to sell him. Here in Oldham – our Jack took Hazy the Cow to Tommyfield Market!

The pantomime pair had a look around many stalls, but Hazy was most interested in the fruit and veg. After working up a thirst Jack and Hazy visited the market’s Cob & Coal real ale pub and Jack decided not to sell Hazy that day, after all.


“The best pantomime cow I have ever seen, in any pantomime, anywhere”
Northern Soul


As an extra special treat Jack took Hazy to Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre for lunch at Greggs. Hazy found his perfect meal with the famous Vegan Sausage Rolls, whilst Jack tried out the Greggs Festive Bake.



Actors Sam Glen and Mitesh Soni are now part way through the Coliseum’s eight-week run of Jack and the Beanstalk, performing two shows per day, six days a week. They had a hilarious trip out in Oldham seeing people’s reactions and saying hello to young fans as they walked through Tommyfield Market and Spindles.


Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s nationally renowned pantomime has been putting the extra sparkle into the festive season for generations; with all the ingredients for fantastic family fun: hit songs, silliness, a sprinkling of fairy dust and a generous helping of It’s Behind You! With a fairy, a GIANT and a hippy cow,  Jack and the Beanstalk is the perfect Christmas treat for kids and not-so-grown-up grown-ups.


Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Saturday 11 January 2020. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Cast announced for Four Minutes Twelve Seconds

In February 2020 the Coliseum presents James Fritz’s modern morality thriller, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds.


Nothing dies online, except reputation.

Seventeen year old Jack has a bright future ahead of him; he’s smart, outgoing and well on his way to leaving Oldham to study law at university. His parents have devoted their lives to giving him every opportunity they never had, but when an intimate video of Jack appears on the internet they are forced to doubt their son, his friends and ultimately themselves. In a hyper connected society, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds asks how well we really know the ones we love and how far we’re willing to go to protect them.


The cast of the Coliseum’s production features: Jo Mousley as Jack’s mother Di; Lee Toomes as his father David;  Alyce Liburd as his (ex) girlfriend Cara and Noah Olaoye as his best friend Nick.

Jo Mousley was last seen at the Coliseum in our hit 2018 production of Relatively Speaking and our Manchester Theatre Award winning 2017 production of The Father. Her other recent credits include: Hello and Goodbye at York Theatre Royal and Be My Baby, Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, Europe and Road at Leeds Playhouse.

Lee Toomes completed a national tour playing Brian in The Full Monty earlier this year. His other credits include Beryl at West Yorkshire Playhouse and New Year New Work at Hull Truck Theatre.

Alyce Liburd’s notable credits include: the 2019 programme at the award-winning pop-up Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York, Out of Joint’s national tour of Rita, Sue and Bob Too and Red Ladder’s The Parting Glass.

Noah Olaoye is a current student at ALRA North, due to graduate in July 2020. His professional experience to date includes the workshop of Hope Mill Theatre’s The Exonerated.


One character you may have noticed missing from this cast list is Jack himself, and that is because we as an audience never meet him. Instead we’re forced to rely on his family and friends’ versions of events as we, as well as his parents, attempt to decipher who posted the video.


Four Minutes Twelve Seconds made its world premiere at Hampstead Theatre, London in 2014. It earned writer James Fritz the Critics Circle Most Promising Playwright Award, was nominated for an Olivier Award and was runner up for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Playwriting Award the previous year. Originally set in Croydon, the play is being specially adapted by James Fritz for the Coliseum’s production and Greater Manchester’s audiences.

James Fritz is a multi-award winning writer from South London whose plays for stage and radio also include: Parliament Square (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and Bush Theatre, London, 2017) and Ross & Rachel (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2015; 59E59 Theaters, New York).


Four Minutes Twelve Seconds runs from Friday 21 February – Saturday 7 March 2020. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Our Coliseum

Last month we launched a new membership scheme with exclusive offers and discounts.

For just £30 per year Our Coliseum members receive:

  • £10 off your first booking
  • 10% off at our bars and kiosk
  • 2for1tickets for the opening night of all Coliseum productions
  • Exclusive offers in a monthly newsletter
  • Invites to our exclusive Season Launch events with the opportunity for priority booking on the night
  • An annual car park pass for evenings at Bradshaw Street Carpark

To sign up for Our Coliseum phone our Box Office on 0161 624 2829.


Coming soon: Trojan Horse

On Thursday 6 & Friday 7 February LUNG come to Oldham as part of their national tour of Trojan Horse.

Trojan Horse was a local story that hit the national press, accusing ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.

This incisive new verbatim play is adapted from over 200 hours of interviews conducted with teachers, students, parents and governors at the heart of the inquiry, exploring the unheard personal stories behind the headlines. This is a story of a community torn apart by racial division, ‘British values’ and the culture of Prevent.


Writers Helen Monks and Matt Woodhead commented:The impact of the Trojan Horse inquiry is being felt more now than ever. The government began their investigation into Trojan Horse four years ago. Since then the teachers and communities involved have been branded ‘radical’, ‘extremist’ and ‘jihadi’. Why have we waited four years to hear their side of the story?


LUNG is a national touring theatre company, developing innovative and politically driven plays that broaden horizons and investigate modern Britain. Their previous productions include The 56, Chilcot and E15.


Trojan Horse comes to the Coliseum on Thursday 6 & Friday 7 February. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Looking for the perfect Christmas present?

If you’re on the hunt for last-minute presents, look no further! The Coliseum offers a variety of great gifts for both long-term and budding theatre-goers.


With an Our Coliseum membership you receive a host of benefits and opportunities to get more out of your theatre, including £10 off your first booking, 2for1 tickets the opening night of all Coliseum productions and 10% off at our bars and kiosks. Click here to learn more about Our Coliseum.


Name a seat in the Coliseum’s auditorium and give the gift of becoming part of the theatre’s long and exciting history. Our auditorium is glittering with an array of well-wishes, jokes and heartfelt messages (our favourite is “To Django, a most theatrical three-legged dog”).  For £250 the Coliseum will place a plaque bearing the inscription of your choice on the seat of your choice in the auditorium. All income that we receive from seat plaques is used to support the theatre’s work – from the production of plays to our extensive programme of education and activity in our local community. To name a seat or for more information contact Development Manager & Lead Capital Fundraiser, John Edwards, at


Coliseum Gift Vouchers can be redeemed against any show here at the theatre – that includes pantomime – Jack and the Beanstalk – which runs until Saturday 11 January, our home produced plays throughout the year – Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, The Jungle Book, Shandyland and Cooking With Elvis to name just a few, visiting productions including The Glee Club and Friendsical and special one-night (or day) events such as Britain’s Got Talent finalist magician Ben Hart or Northern Ballet’s magical children’s ballet, Little Red Riding Hood. To buy a Coliseum Gift Voucher, contact Box Office on 0161 624 2829.


Season Ticket makes a great gift for a regular theatre-goer or, perhaps a whole new departure for someone who really does have everything. Our flexible Season Ticket offer includes a choice of Trojan HorseFour Minutes Twelve Seconds and Absurd Person Singular from our Autumn/Winter 2019-20 Season and The Jungle BookThe Glee Club,  FriendsicalJeeves and Wooster in Perfect NonsenseShandyland and Cooking With Elvis from our Spring-Summer 2020 Season. Click here to learn more and book a Season Ticket


Thank you to our Jack and the Beanstalk sponsors

Sponsors and partners of Jack and the Beanstalk were treated to special VIP events at the theatre this month, with the opportunity to meet the pantomime’s stars before heading into the auditorium to see this year’s fun-filled festive spectacular.


The Coliseum’s pantomime has been entertaining the people of Oldham and beyond since 1887 and it’s thanks to the backing of local businesses that we’re able to put that extra sparkle into Christmas and spread the festive cheer even further. We’re thrilled that Jack and the Beanstalk is sponsored by George Hill Timber and Building Supplies, Jigsaw Housing and N Brown Group and the pantomime’s Educational Partner is Oldham Hulme Grammar School. On-going support from local businesses is ever more important and this group epitomises supporting and celebrating the things that make Oldham a great place to live and work.


We asked them all for a few words about the pantomime:

George Hill are delighted to be involved once again as a sponsor of Oldham Coliseum’s Christmas pantomime.  The event is one we look forward to all year, the Coliseum always puts on a great performance and it’s a fantastic start to all our festive celebrations.” – Jayne Hill, Director of George Hill Timber and Building Supplies


As a long term partner of the theatre working in Oldham and Tameside’s communities we are delighted that we will be sponsoring the Coliseum’s famous family Panto for the first time. We are proud to support fun and inclusive theatre this festive period which will enchant our residents and all audience members young and old alike”  –  Suzanne Bullock, Jigsaw Housing


JD Williams and N Brown have been sponsoring the Coliseum’s productions for a number of years. The Christmas pantomime at the Coliseum is such a big part of the festive season in Oldham and, as a large employer in the town, investing in our local theatre is one of the ways we’re giving back to our staff, their families and friends and our local community.” – John Wilson, Head of Operations at N Brown Group


Oldham Hulme Grammar School is proud to be Educational Partners of the Coliseum. We see the arts as crucial in the development of young people and recognise that Oldham is fortunate to have the Coliseum with its wide-ranging and ambitious programme. The panto is the highlight of the year, and often the first experience of live theatre for a number of our children. As ever we are “right behind you”!” – Craig Mairs, Principle of Oldham Hulme Grammar School


Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Saturday 11 January 2020. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Coming up in the new year

Banish the post-Christmas blues with a host of fantastic music, comedy and sing-along-screenings at the Coliseum.


LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING: Now in its 19th year The Greatest Hits of Motown returns on Friday 24 January. This stunning live show combines first class music and the slickest choreography to have you Dancing On The Ceiling, with songs from the likes of Lionel RitchieThe TemptationsStevie WonderMarvin Gaye and many more. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING: Following two sell-out shows earlier this year, Sing-a-long-a The Greatest Showman returns on Saturday 25 January at 2.30pm. Cheer on Hugh Jackman and his band of circus performers with lyrics on screen so you can sing along as loud and proud as you want. Fancy dress is strongly recommended. Click here to learn more and book tickets.

LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING: That very same day we’re hosting another brilliant sing-a-long-a screening, this time with the smash hit film Bohemian Rhapsody. Celebrate Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury and sing along with on screen lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, Under Pressure and Somebody to Love as you, the audience become part of the famous Live Aid concert. Sing-a-long-a Bohemian Rhapsody comes to the Coliseum on Saturday 25 January at 7.30pm. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


On Friday 31 January The Simon & Garfunkel Story comes to Oldham with the 50th anniversary celebration. With a full live band performing all of the hits including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water and many more, this show is renowned for receiving standing ovations at every performance. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Europe’s most successful Evis Presley tribute artist Lee Memphis King returns on Saturday 1 February for One Night of Elvis. In this latest show, Lee portrays The King at his peak during the iconic Vegas Years from 1969 – 1977. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Comedian John Shuttleworth comes to the Coliseum on Saturday 8 February. John’s back has been giving him trouble; years of playing his organ in the garage perched on top of a multipack of Sprite has taken its toll. But, ever the trouper, John returns to regale audiences with classic songs and one liners, plus hilarious ‘back’ stories. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


On Saturday 15 February Crooners is a rip-roaring comedy musical packed with Big Band Swing and tongue in cheek humour. Accompanied by a nine-piece mini big band, Crooners follows the story of three gentlemen who exhume the characteristics of a crooner: suave, self assured and stylish with a penchant for sentiment, romance and tap shoes. Click here to learn more and book tickets.


Click here to see all forthcoming shows at the Coliseum.


Customer Experience Volunteers: Join us

We’re always on the lookout for friendly and reliable people to join our team of Customer Experience Volunteers, who help to look after our audiences from greeting them in the foyer, to selling programmes and ice creams, taking them to their seats and much more.


Customer Experience Volunteers must be 18+ and able to commit to a minimum of three months volunteering with us. No experience is needed as full training is provided.


Click here to learn more about becoming an Oldham Coliseum Theatre Customer Experience Volunteer or contact Heather Shaw, House Manager,  by phone on 0161 785 7021 or email


Oldham Coliseum Theatre gratefully acknowledges funding from:

Oldham Coliseum Theatre is a Registered Charity, No: 508829.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre Ltd Reg No: 1415547

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