Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s production of Brassed Off is a family affair for the Fletcher-Ford household as the mother and daughter from Greenfield both feature in the show’s cast.
Amelie Fletcher, 10, is one of the two young ladies playing the role of Melody, daughter of Phil and Sandra, who face financial troubles after Phil served time in prison for his part in the 1984 miners’ strike.
Her mother, Isabel, reprised the role as ‘auntie’ Rita, a part she also played in the Coliseum’s 2008 production of the same show.
‘Brassed Off’ is a funny and life-affirming play about community spirit and triumph in the face of adversity.
Set in the fictional mining town of Grimley, it follows the town’s brass band and conductor Danny’s life-long ambition to lead them to the National Brass Band Competition at the Royal Albert Hall, despite the impending closure of the town’s lifeblood, Grimley pit.
This is the second time Isabel and Amelie have worked together, after both appearing in feature film, ‘Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger’, in 2012.
Their very theatrical family also includes father Richard J Fletcher, who is one of the Coliseum’s much loved pantomime favourites.
Isabel commended: “We didn’t make a big fuss about Amelie auditioning for Brassed Off; we also didn’t mention to Kevin Shaw, the Director, that she would be auditioning.
“Then when she was offered the part of Melody we were thrilled and very proud. I’ve been watching her scenes from the wings and can’t help being impressed by her focus and professionalism.”
This third production of Brassed Off by Oldham Coliseum Theatre has been another smash-hit, with over 7,000 tickets sold so far and almost two weeks left to go in the run.
Isabel continued: “It’s such a great experience for a young person to be performing on the Coliseum stage and to have the responsibility of playing a part in the story.
“We spoke about her scenes at home and what she could be thinking when things happen to her character, such as when she puts the teddy back in the house after the family have been evicted and she came up with the idea that in her head she’s telling the teddy ‘to look after daddy’.
“It’s just a second in the show but she has that intention now when she leaves the teddy. I think because she’s had so much theatre in her life she gets what she has to do and has a natural instinct.”
Shortly after the end of the run of Brassed Off, Richard J Fletcher will be back at the Coliseum to start rehearsals for this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, in which this year he will play Norman Nutty.
Brassed Off runs at Oldham Coliseum Theatre until Saturday 1 October 2016. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 0161 624 2829 or at www.coliseum.org.uk