Coliseum relives Greatest Hits

Published: 30 March 2023
Reporter: David Upton

Brassed Off

There won’t be a dry eye in the house when the curtain comes down at Oldham Coliseum tomorrow night.

The venue is marking the end of its 138-year history with script-in-hand performances by more than 20 actors from 11 Coliseum productions, comedians, and special guest appearances. Tickets for Encore sold out within half an hour of going on sale.

Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake 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.

And it wouldn’t be a 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 more than 80 performances per festive period.

Brassed Off will feature with William Travis and Diggle Band; Lauryn Redding will perform "The Parting Glass" from 2018’s world première 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.

Encore has been put together in just two weeks since the Coliseum received confirmation of its closure

Following the loss of its Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status, and consequentially the loss of a third of the theatre’s income, Oldham Coliseum Theatre closes its doors for the final time.

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