OLDHAM COLISEUM Theatre’s autumn-winter 2016-17 season promises to be funny, life-affirming, thought-provoking and spine-tingling with a huge variety of performances on offer.
The season opens on Wednesday 7 September with Brassed Off, featuring the musical talents of four Oldham-local brass bands during the run.
Based on a true story and adapted by Paul Allen from the 1996 film starring Pete Postlethwaite and Ewan McGregor, Brassed Off is a tale of community spirit and triumph in the face of adversity following Grimley Colliery Band on their quest for glory at the National Brass Band Competition – despite the impending closure of the town’s lifeblood, Grimley pit.
The Delph Band, The Diggle Band, The Oldham Band (Lees) and Boarshurst Silver Band will each join the cast for a week of the run, playing music including: William Tell Overture, Death or Glory, Danny Boy, Land of Hope and Glory and Rodigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
Then the Coliseum presents Tom Wells’ latest hit comedy, Jumpers For Goalposts, running from Friday 7 – Saturday 22 October.
Tom Wells is tipped as one of Britain’s best young writers, having won Most Promising Playwright at the Critics’ Circle Awards in 2011 and the George Devine Awards in 2012 for his previous work, Kitchen Sink.
Jumpers For Goalposts finds LGBT five-a-side team Barely Athletic licking their wounds in the changing room post-match. Luke wants Danny, but Danny’s got a secret. Joe’s happy in goal but Beardy Geoff wants a headline gig. Viv just wants to beat the lesbians to the league title.
Jumpers For Goalposts will see the main stage directorial debut of Coliseum Associate Director, Chris Lawson, who joined the company from London’s Almeida in October 2014 and programmed the successful First Break Festival of new writing and emerging artists in the Oldham Coliseum Theatre Studio in May.
Chris Lawson, Associate Director of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, commented: “Tom Wells is writing stories that matter; we relate to them and they reflect real life. Jumpers for Goalposts explores friendship, ambition and the need to just get along.
It’s the perfect match for my first show on the Coliseum’s main stage, bridging the gap between the studio and main house and bringing quality contemporary writing to a larger audience.”
The theatre’s pantomime this year is Sleeping Beauty. The Coliseum’s beloved pantomime dame, Fine Time Fontayne, dons the oversized hips once again as the wicked Queen Carabosse puts an evil spell on beautiful Princess Rose and a handsome prince is needed to break the spell with true love’s kiss.
The annual Christmas spectacular opens on Saturday 12 November 2016, running through to Saturday 7 January 2017.
The New Year takes a dark turn with Patrick Hamilton’s Victorian mystery thriller, Gaslight, opening on Friday 3 February 2017.
As the gas lights flicker in the drawing room, Bella Manningham is convinced that she’s losing her mind, just as her mother did before her. Her memories are haunted by an aunt violently murdered and a mother consigned to the asylum.
First presented in 1938 in London’s West End, Gaslight was adapted into an iconic film starring Ingrid Bergman in 1944 and is now one of the longest running non-musicals in Broadway history, under its American title, Angel Street.
Elsewhere in the season the acclaimed English Touring Theatre join forces with The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond-upon-Thames and Exeter Northcott Theatre for a tour of Terence Rattigan’s French Without Tears, coming to the Coliseum from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 October.
And comedy duo LipService return with their take on Jane Austen, Mr Darcy Loses The Plot, from Wednesday 18 – Saturday 21 January 2017.
The Coliseum’s Studio Theatre programme of new writing continues through the autumn and winter months, with four plays and there will also be a variety of special one night events.
Kevin Shaw, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, commented: “We’re all excited to start work on our new season, which is set for a lot of laughs and some great quality drama.
“Adding a thriller to the mix in the New Year builds on the success of 2015’s ghost story, The Mist in the Mirror, which was nominated for a UK Theatre Award, bringing even more variety to the Coliseum’s offer.”
For more details of all productions, visit the Oldham Coliseum’s website.