Line up announced for Oldham Coliseum’s Encore

29 March 2023

  • Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s closing event on Friday 31 March features script in hand performances by over 20 actors from 11 Coliseum productions, comedians, and some very special guest appearances.
  • Tickets for Encore sold out just half an hour after going on sale.


The theatre welcomes special guests Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake, who will perform excerpts from Dave Johns’s stage adaptation of I, Daniel Blake. The adaptation of Ken Loach’s 2016 film was due to run at the Coliseum in June and July this year in a co-production with the Coliseum, Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep, English Touring Theatre and tiny dragon productions. Christopher and Maxine will perform alongside Elizabeth Twells, who was last seen at the Coliseum in 2022’s Beryl, directed by Coliseum Artistic Director & Chief Executive Chris Lawson.


It wouldn’t be a true Coliseum send off without the theatre’s famous pantomime. Cast members from across the years: Liz Carney, Ian Crowe, Sophie Ellicott, Sam Glen, Shorelle Hepkin, Kaitlin Howard, Nathan Morris, Sarah Pearson, Charlie Ryan, Mitesh Soni and William Travis return to the stage they each called home for over 80 performances per festive period.


Smash hit Coliseum production Brassed Off will feature with William Travis and Diggle Band, Lauryn Redding will perform The Parting Glass from 2018’s world premiere musical Bread & Roses, the Coliseum’s own Gracie Fields Sue Devaney performs songs from 2016’s Our Gracie, Liz Carney will perform a number from 2010’s Up On The Roof and cast members of 2015’s Dreamers – Rachel Austin, Justine Elizabeth Bailey, Marie Critchley, Rachel Leskovac, Lauryn Redding and Kimberly Hart-Simpson - reunite for another trip to the famed 1990s Oldham nightclub.


Coliseum dramas from recent years will feature with excerpts from The Kitchen Sink with Sam Glen and William Travis, Beryl with the full production cast: Tori Burgess, James Lewis, Charlie Ryan and Elizabeth Twells and We Should Definitely Have More Dancing with co-writer and actor Clara Darcy.


Encore will also feature sets from local comedy heroes Justin Moorhouse and Steve Royle. The Coliseum’s Young Rep Company will perform their piece about the Coliseum spectre Harold Norman The Final Curtain, Juice Vamosi and Richard O’Neill will share songs and stories in Gypsy Jam and Peter’s Friends featuring members of Congress Players and Musical Friends will perform One Day More from Les Misérables.


Encore has been put together in just two weeks since the Coliseum received confirmation of closure at the end of the month. Alongside the beginning of the redundancy process for all staff, the Coliseum’s team of expert theatre professionals came together to plan a one-night-only event to give audiences a final opportunity to embrace the theatre and its special place in Oldham, Greater Manchester and the national theatrical landscape.  


This special event will welcome the return of former Coliseum Artistic Directors Kevin Shaw and Kenneth Alan Taylor, who will join Chris Lawson, Coliseum Artistic Director since 2018 and additionally Chief Executive since December 2022, in introducing acts throughout the evening.


Encore will be proceeded on Thursday 30 March with An Evening with Kenneth Alan Taylor in which the Oldham theatre legend will share stories from his many decades at the Coliseum both on and off stage.


Following the loss of its Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status, and consequentially the loss of third of the theatre’s income from 1 April 2023, Oldham Coliseum Theatre will close its doors to the public for the final time on Friday 31 March. The redundancy process for all staff began when closure was confirmed on Monday 13 March and the first members of the Coliseum company due to leave the organisation will do so following the Encore closing event.

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