OLDHAM Coliseum Theatre has confirmed “with heavy hearts” that it is closed to the public until early 2021 to safeguard its future and vital role in the local communities
The Coliseum was less than two weeks away from reopening with a season of Covid-secure, socially distanced events when the Government announced a second lockdown from Thursday, November 5.
Chris Lawson (Artistic Director) and Susan Wildman (Chief Executive) confirmed the decision “with heavy hearts”.
They said: “We do not know for certain whether theatres will be permitted to reopen on December 2, what the Tier system will mean for the Coliseum, or if the national lockdown is extended beyond that date.
“We have cancelled our festive production of A Christmas Carol as we cannot guarantee at this stage that it can go ahead.
“To continue with the production would require significant financial investment that, if we had to cancel the show at a later date, would simply go to waste. This is not a risk the Coliseum is able to take.
“We are currently working to reschedule Drowning, Petrichor, My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored and Julie Likes To Draw Squirrels to 2021.
“We are devastated not to be reopening this November, following months of preparations to make the Coliseum Covid-secure, and having been so excited to welcome our audiences back.”
Ticket holders for A Christmas Carol will be contacted as soon as possible, and for Drowning, Petrichor, My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored and Julie Likes to Draw Squirrels ticket holders will be contacted as soon as new dates are secured.
The Coliseum’s festive offers for schools – the Panto Storytelling tour and Panto Box virtual workshop – will still go ahead and the theatre will also continue its focus on digital and community work.
Chris and Susan added: “Over the past few weeks Oldham’s brilliant audiences and businesses have helped us to raise almost £40,000 for our Get Behind Us crowdfunder.
“We have been truly heartened by the support we have received and we will ensure this money is utilised to help secure the future of our beloved theatre so the Coliseum will still be here to support the people of Oldham for generations to come.”
You can still contribute to the Get Behind Us campaign at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/get-behind-us
Throughout November, the Coliseum’s Box Office will be open for phone enquiries only on Mondays from 10am-3pm. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org