Oldham initiative launches three audio plays

Published: 19 July 2020
Reporter: David Upton

Distance by DANC writers and performers

Oldham Coliseum, TripleC and Disabled Artists Networking Community have commissioned three short audio plays by disabled writers, read by disabled performers.

TripleC/DANC was founded by actors Cherylee Houston (Coronation Street’s Izzy Armstrong) and Melissa Johns (the Street’s Imogen Pascoe).

Based on the theme of ‘distance’, the three five-minute plays offer insight into the emotional challenges faced by disabled people in their everyday lives and in the UK coronavirus lockdown. They are released as part of the Coliseum’s Mini-Podcast Series.

After a shout-out in May, the three selected short plays are Personal Space by Adam Fenton, From a Distance by Andrew Duffy and 25 Metres From Salsa by Karen Featherstone.

Personal Space is a piece about when the smallest of acts feel massive and is read by actor Milton Lopes.

From a Distance is a conversation between a man shielding at home and his grandmother who is living with dementia and is read by Caron Rae-Brand and Fergus Rattigan.

In 25 Metres From Salsa, Alf has his walking assessed to see if he is eligible for medication. It’s read by Porcelain Delaney, Simon Startin and Caron Rae-Brand.

The Coliseum’s Mini-Podcast Series was launched on World Theatre Day 2020, just one week into lockdown. It shares original works by people of all ages and backgrounds from the communities the theatre serves. For each episode, the Coliseum invites writers to respond to a theme within a specified length, with pieces ranging from 100 words to a 20-minute short audio-play.

All are recorded remotely by professional actors and edited by the theatre’s digital associate, Grant Archer.