One-man show in Oldham promises half-term fun

AN award-winning children’s writer is bringing a show inspired by his own family’s fishing escapades to Oldham during the February half-term.

Author and performer Oliver Sykes was one of six children brought up on the breadline by his single parent dad on a rural council estate.

When the children’s mum suddenly walked out, dad Chris left his factory job to look after his children.

Fishing became an important part of Oliver’s childhood, as both a family day out and a way of putting a cheap and nutritious meal on the table.

Oldham Council - half term fun
Oliver Sykes in Fishing for Rainbows. Image Dawn Kilner

Oliver, 34, is touring a show based on his second children’s book, Fishing for Rainbows. Published in May last year, it has been longlisted for the 2024 Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards.

Suitable for audiences aged five and over, the stage adaptation of Fishing for Rainbows tells the story of strong-minded siblings Kezia, Duke and Danior Boswell.

Since their mum passed away, the family has fallen into a strict routine. The boys and dad go out fishing whilst 12-year-old Kezia stays at home to tidy and cook.

But Kezia has a plan, one that could transform her from a modern-day Cinderella into a super cool fishergirl.

Oliver, who grew up in the Peak District and now lives in North Wales, said: “Fishing for Rainbows is inspired by my childhood, when I would often go out fishing with my dad and brothers.

“The character of Kezia was created for my little sister Amber, who says she always felt sad not to be invited on the fishing trips.

“It is a story about families, loss and reaching for the stars.”

The show, created using public funding from Arts Council England, is written and performed by Oliver Sykes and directed by Dominic Berry.

It will be at Oldham Library & Lifelong Learning Centre on Greaves Street on Friday, February 23, at 10.30am.

Tickets cost £5 and a free children’s writing workshop will follow at midday.

Book your place now at

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