Greatest way back for Oldham Coliseum

Published: 26 April 2021
Reporter: David Upton

Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play Credit: Savannah Photographic

Oldham Coliseum Theatre is preparing to welcome audiences back from June 24.

After more than a year of closure due to the pandemic, the first live theatre show will be the award-winning Edinburgh Fringe one-woman show The Greatest Play in the History of the World…

Julie Hesmondhalgh narrates the story of two neighbours and the people on their street, in a universal love story.

The show ran at the Traverse Theatre during the 2018 festival before transferring to Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre Studio in September 2018 and to London’s West End in December 2019. It has been adapted to fit with potential continuing coronavirus restrictions and runs from June 24–26.

The Coliseum then joins forces with Canadian theatre company Impel Theatre in cross-Atlantic collaboration, An Acorn. Starring Mina Anwar and Darren Jeffries alongside Canadian actors Blythe Haynes and Ryan G Hinds, it’s a live digital performance over Zoom with an interactive twist.

The two pairs of actors have never met; Blythe and Ryan appear fully rehearsed while in the UK Mina and Darren receive a script with specific instructions just an hour before performance. The audience receive instructions on the day on how to interact with the piece. It’s live on Zoom on May 6 at 8PM, with a recorded version available May 7–17.

LipService makes a virtual return in multimedia haunted house thriller Château Ghoul. East Yorkshire's go-to boutique hotel offers themed weekends with guaranteed fun for all the family, except guests keep dying... It’s on Zoom May 8.

Dare to Know Theatre’s Drowning is a semi-autobiographical one-man show following an intelligent but naïve teenager with extreme views on mental health. Writer and performer Jake Talbot said, “it’s me trying to better understand my own experiences with grief, mental health and suicide as a whole.”

It was originally due to take place in the Studio theatre last May 2020, then as part of the November 2020 season which had to be cancelled following the second lockdown. It now comes to the Coliseum on July 3.

Third year students from ALRA North take over the Coliseum stage for their final performances: The Oak Tree and Dinosaur Wine by Sorcha McCaffrey from July 15–17.

Children’s favourite Zog flies on to the Coliseum stage August 12–14.

Riot Act by Alexis Gregory is a solo verbatim show created from interviews with three key players in the history of the LBGTQ+ movement. It comes to the Coliseum July 21.