Shirley Bassey tribute act’s midlife crisis in new comedy play Glitterball

Coming to Oldham Coliseum Theatre this October, Glitterball is life-affirming cross-cultural comedy about a woman’s midlife crisis and her rollercoaster journey to find her voice, brought to life with live music, wry humour and a whole lotta sparkle. Presented by Rifco Theatre Company and Watford Palace Theatre, the new play comes to Oldham Coliseum from Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 October.


More Bassey than Bhangra...


Sonia’s life has always been a bit of a double act, brought up as one half of a Shirley Bassey tribute act.  Alongside her overbearing mother Gloria, she left a trail of sequins across the working men’s clubs of East Anglia. Now she’s divorced, battling through the middle-age jungle, wrangling unimpressed teenagers and navigating rocky friendships.


But the unexpected arrival of Sonia’s half-brother Naim from Manchester brings a refreshed sense of belonging and cultural identity, as he introduces her to her Pakistani side she had never known before. Sonia is excited to immerse herself in the culture and finally begins to piece together the mosaic of her life.


Can Sonia shake off the past, even with her ever-present mother keeping ‘the show’ on the road from beyond the grave?


Inspired by a real-life, Glitterball is a midlife coming of age comedy about motherhood, identity and finding your time to shine.


Writer Yasmin Wilde has been an actress for over thirty years, working in theatre and television in the UK. Recent work includes shows at Birmingham Rep, Manchester Royal Exchange and Stratford East, and TV appearances in After Life, This Is Going To Hurt, Shakespeare and Hathaway and Peter Kosminsky’s The Undeclared War soon to come to Channel 4.


Performing new writing has always been her passion, and inspired by working with brilliant playwrights like Tanika Gupta and Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Yasmin applied for the RIFCO mentorship scheme. Under their guidance, she developed her idea for a play about dual heritage, the fracturing of identity in motherhood, and Shirley Bassey - and Glitterball was born. Glitterball is the first commission to come out of the Rifco Associates Programme, a talent development initiative to improve pathways into the industry for underrepresented voices.


Pravesh Kumar, Rifco Artistic Director, said: “At Rifco, we are committed to telling the stories of underrepresented voices and are thrilled to be bringing you our first mainstage production born out of the Rifco Associates Programme. Yasmin Wilde’s story felt so relevant to us because it sheds much-needed light on the mixed-heritage experience. It is also an empowering example of how a ‘midlife crisis’ can be a positive turning point with a strong intergenerational focus. We hope it will strike a chord with audiences and open up themes that are still too often missing from mainstream entertainment, while also giving them some feel-good, classic Bassey numbers to sing along to.”


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