Oldham theatre company steals the show to scoop prestigious award

AN OLDHAM theatre company was in the limelight as they took home their first award at the prestigious Manchester Theatre Awards.

Hard Graft Theatre Company scooped Best Fringe Production for founder Mark Whiteley’s play ‘Thick as Thieves’ after beating off stiff competition from hundreds of productions staged in 2014.thick-as-thieves-1014

The play was performed in the disused pram shop in Mumps last September and starred Coronation Street’s actors Steven Arnold and Jonny Dixon.

And Mark, who is an actor, writer and director, was thrilled to take home the award.

He said: “It’s so exciting” he said. “Without the help of Oldham Council and local audiences supporting us we wouldn’t have been close.”

He collected the award at the glittering awards event, which was hosted by Phoenix Nights star Justin Moorhouse with guests including acclaimed actress Jane Asher, actress Roxanne Pallett and a host of former Coronation Street stars.

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David Crowley, Mark Whiteley and Celia Perkins at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

The company’s next play ‘Grass’, the sequel to ‘Thick as Thieves’, will be performed later in the year in Oldham in another unconventional venue.

Then later in the year they will return to Saddleworth for their annual Christmas Shows, following their hit “The Christmas Elves and the Shoemaker” at the Civic Hall in 2014.

Hard Graft Theatre company been producing theatre for 20 years and in that time have worked in shops, fields, living rooms, boats, schools, community centres and even a few hundred theatres.

Find out more about Hard Graft Theatre on their website.

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