A welcome return to home-produced theatre in Oldham - Oldham Coliseum’s Autumn/Winter 2021-22 Season

Oldham Coliseum Theatre today announces its first full season since the pandemic – featuring heart-warming and thought-provoking drama alongside comedy, music, magic and dance - plus the highly anticipated return of the theatre’s much-loved annual pantomime.

With the new season the theatre also reignites its Season Ticket offer with multibuy discounts on eight shows throughout the Autumn and Winter months: Love N Stuff, Who Cares, Sunny Side Up, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, Blue/Orange, The Glee Club and The Ballad of Maria Marten.

This summer the Coliseum teams will make a return to the rehearsal room for the theatre’s first home-produced show for the Coliseum stage since early 2020. Running from Thursday 16 September – Saturday 2 October, Love N Stuff is a comedy about love, marriage and the family you choose.

Bindi and Mansoor were star-crossed lovers and now they’re everyone’s favourite couple. They’ve been happily married for years and have built a great life for themselves in the UK. But something’s not right; Mansoor’s decided to move back to India and is waiting in the departure lounge. Bindi’s hatched a plan to get him to stay and half the neighbourhood are involved.
With two actors playing over 15 characters this laugh-out-loud play by Tanika Gupta and directed by Gitika Buttoo, Love N Stuff is simultaneously warming, silly and thoughtful. Following its run at the Coliseum, Love N Stuff will embark on a national tour.

On Wednesday 6 & Thursday 7 October LUNG Theatre return to Oldham with Who Cares.

Nicole started caring for her mum when she was four. Every morning Nicole helps her get washed, put on clothes and eat breakfast. Jade has always cared for her brother, but she never expected to look after dad as well - now she juggles two lots of appointments, two lots of prescriptions, two lots of assessment forms. Connor cares for his mum. But he doesn’t like to talk about it.

Adapted from real-life testimonies, Who Cares examines the impact of austerity, our failing social care system and what happens when a child becomes the parent.

From Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 October the Coliseum welcomes The John Godber Company with Godber’s latest play, Sunny Side Up.

Barney, Cath and Tina are down to earth proprietors of a struggling Yorkshire coast B&B. Told in Godber’s signature style, they share their stories of awkward clients, snooty relatives and eggs over easy, in a seaside feel-good rollercoaster which digs into what ‘staycations’ are all about.

Don’t loose your head around All Hallows eve as the Coliseum welcomes a star-studded production of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow from Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 October.
With Hallowmas celebrations fast approaching, the residents of Sleepy Hollow spin tall tales of legends and unsightly entities. But who can tell truth from nightmare? Ichabod Crane arrives to become the town teacher but when disturbing events overwhelm the small town, he finds himself swept up in a dangerous mystery which leaves him doubting his own sanity.

Coronation Street legends Wendi Peters and Bill Ward lead an incredible ensemble in this thrilling new adaptation.

Penned by Coliseum Supported Artist Nana-Kofi Kufuor, My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored will run at Oldham Library Performance Space on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November. Originally planned to run at the Coliseum in November 2020, but cancelled due to the November lockdown, My Voice… is a gripping tussle of power and an urgent interrogation of racial identity.

15 year-old Reece is roughly accosted by the police outside M&S. His young, Black teacher Gillian witnesses it all – but, with fears for her own safety engulfing her mind, she doesn’t question or intervene in the disturbing scene that plays out. The consequences of her lack of action erupt the following day. Gillian finds herself locked in a classroom with her angry student.

Coliseum Artistic Director Chris Lawson directs Joe Penhall’s multi-award-winning Blue/Orange, running from Thursday 17 February – Saturday 5 March 2022.

Christopher has been sectioned to the psychiatric ward for a month and is excited to be going home… until an orange throws his diagnosis into question. His doctor wants to section him indefinitely, the senior consultant thinks it’s a question of culture, and besides – they need the beds. Over 24 hours their power struggle explodes into an intense and darkly funny exploration of institutional racism, ethics and mental health. At its premiere production in the early noughties Blue/Orange won the Olivier Award, The Critics Circle Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best New Play.

Richard Cameron’s raucous comedy The Glee Club arrives in Oldham from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 March.

The Glee Club, made up of five hard-working, hard-drinking miners and a church organist, is preparing for the local gala. Though they’re established in the working men’s clubs, they aren’t exactly at the vanguard of a musical revolution. This is the summer of ’62. Britain and music are about to change, so too are the lives of these six men. Will anything ever be the same again?

From Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 March Eastern Angles present a thrilling retelling of a real-life murder mystery, The Ballad of Maria Marten.

Summer, 1827. In a red barn Maria Marten awaits her lover. A year later her body is found under the floor of the barn in a grain sack, barely identifiable, and the manhunt begins. But in all this hysteria Maria’s own story gets lost. Until now. Hal Chambers and Beth Flintoff’s spine-tingling retelling rediscovers her story, bringing it back to vivid, urgent life.

Pantomime is back! After a year’s delay Aladdin flies into Oldham on his magic carpet from Saturday 13 November 2021 – Saturday 8 January 2022.

Aladdin dreams of a better life for himself and his mother, and when he finds the magic lamp it seems that his wishes have been granted. But hiding in the shadows the evil Abanazar will stop at nothing to get hold of the magic lamp and rule the land. With the help of the Genie of the Lamp, can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine and stop Abanazar from taking over?

The Coliseum is rightly famous for the North West’s favourite traditional pantomime, with a combination of hit songs, silliness and plenty of festive magic.

Further family fun at the Coliseum includes a roarsome adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s Zog this summer (12 – 14 August 2021) and Northern Ballet’s children’s ballet of Pinocchio (Thursday 10 February 2022).

Plus there’s entertainment for all tastes throughout the season with a packed programme of special one-night events - some new and some long awaited reschedules from early 2020. Don’t miss: laugh-out-loud monologues about Queer people living in Manchester in Double-Ender (14 October 2021), improvised musical comedy Notflix (5 February 2022), magic from Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ben Hart (12 February 2022), and a dark dance thriller from Company Chameleon: The Shadow (10 March 2022).

Comedy includes: Dave Spikey (2 September 2021), An End of the Pier Show fundraiser for Maggies Oldham (8 October 2021), Russell Kane (9 October 2021) and Tommy Cannon (16 October 2021).

And last, but certainly not least, treat your ears to brilliant music events including Gypsy Jam – the first in a series of live jam sessions produced by the Coliseum exploring the rich performance traditions of Roma and Romani people (1 September 2021), plus tributes to all your favourites: Fleetwood Bac (3 September 2021), Radio GaGa – tribute to Queen (15 October 2021), The Greatest Hits of Motown (28 & 29 January 2022) and Thank You for the Music, the ultimate tribute to ABBA (11 February 2022).

Oldham Coliseum closed its doors to the public with immediate effect following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 16 March 2020. It reopened with its first live event The Greatest Play in the History of the World… on Thursday 24 June 2021.

Throughout its closure the theatre’s teams worked remotely to create and share great art and opportunities to be creative, and making regular phone calls to participants at risk of experiencing loneliness due to lockdown. The theatre’s work in lockdown includes: seven new digital Micro Commissions, an interactive murder mystery Whodunnit at the Coliseum? the Advent Plays, Digital Panto Storytelling, the Mini-Podcast series, the Poetry Health Service – a Homemakers commission in partnership with HOME Manchester, streaming of hit musical The Hired Man and Coliseum Creates – a resource pack of fun activities for families and children of all ages.

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