The Oldham Coliseum closed its doors for the final time on 31 March this year with their emotional farewell performance, ‘Encore’. Last weekend, on what would have been the opening performance of the theatre’s renowned pantomime, members of the Save Oldham Coliseum Campaign Group formed a flash mob through the town in a bid to reopen the Fairbottom Street building.
Kevin Leach worked at Oldham Coliseum since June 2006. For about 14 years he was a stage technician before becoming technical manager just before the pandemic. Though having to deal with redundancy himself, he campaigned to save the theatre too, and has posed questions to Oldham Council in his fight for answers and assurances for his colleagues.
It was a show unlike any other. With a cast of stars who began their careers at the Coliseum, with future stars of the stage and screen, with amateurs who have been welcomed onto that stage as they escape the real world with their love of theatre, the show encapsulated the spirit of the Coliseum. This was the last show at Oldham’s Fairbottom Street theatre.
Oldham Coliseum played host to a star-studded line-up on 21 February, but it wasn’t the usual entertainment on offer. Actors from the North West joined members of the public to save the venue from closure. Coronation Street’s Jane Hazlegrove attended, and we caught up with her after the meeting to talk about her connection to the Coliseum.
Last weekend, Manchester United’s men’s, women’s and youth teams all marked the anniversary of the 1958 crash at games and services both here and in Germany. Zoe Hodges reports on an emotional weekend.
The theatre and arts world was rocked on Tuesday by the decision to cancel all shows at Oldham Coliseum Theatre after their funding bid to the Arts Council was rejected. Some of the industry’s leading lights have spoken out about the decision and reflected upon what the historic venue has done for them over the years.
The cost-of-living crisis is something affecting everyone, from young families that live paycheque-to-paycheque, to businesses whose outgoings have significantly increased whilst their profit margins have declined. Though many find their escape in football, football can’t escape the current financial climate. Although the top Premier League clubs appear unfazed by the situation, it is a different story for lower league sides such as Rochdale AFC.
Most of us celebrated Christmas on 25 December, if we do celebrate it, of course. But Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on 7 January, and the holiday is very different to the Christmas that a lot of British people grew up with.