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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Oldham Coliseum Theatre: Noel Coward's Hay Fever, Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong, and an Unfunny Girl with a Bad French Accent

Now, when I started this blog some two hundred years ago (well, nearly 6), I had no hesitation in choosing its name, no doubt imagining an all-encompassing, far-reaching, wide-ranging romp around every single last area of the city. Looking back over previous posts, however, it becomes sadly apparent that, in practice, this has not exactly been the case; indeed, an uncharitable soul might suggest, with some accuracy, that a better name for the blog might have been "Things to do in central Manchester, ideally in locations that can easily be accessed from the train station, with occasional forays to places in Didsbury that I can walk to from my house".

Thus I am ever grateful when something out of my normal radius is gently pointed out to me. I have become a convert to Royton Real Food, for example, and am now thinking of becoming most interested in another location just down the road from this monthly food paradise - Oldham Coliseum Theatre. Quite aside from the fact that this is a building full of history, dating from 1885 and the only surviving theatre from this period in Oldham, there are a couple of things coming up that I very much want to see. From tomorrow until Saturday 29th June, Noel Coward's Hay Fever is playing - forget the fact that this was written in 1924 by a fey gentleman with a penchant for a cigarette in a long holder, for this play is still funny and always will be. It's one of those country house pieces that show the British upper classes at their toe-curling best, focusing on the fairly horrific Bliss family and their treatment of their weekend guests - you may wish to make a helpful sign to hold up near the start of the performance that simply advises "RUN AWAY NOW".

And then, looking further ahead, the first week of July sees the arrival of Birdsong, adapted from one of my favourite books and recently seen on TV with the pouty-mouthed Eddie Redmayne in the starring role of Stephen Wraysford. This production trumps that particular piece of casting, however, as the touring show not only stars Sarah Jayne Dunn (meaning that Mr Liz will have something pretty to look at and will therefore be distracted from the cultural nature of proceedings) but also features Arthur Bostrom. If you are of a certain age you will already know who Arthur Bostrum is; younger readers should be advised that he will find it most amusing for you to stand up during the performance and call out witty remarks about "pissing by the door"*.

*NB The actor will NOT, in truth, find this amusing.

Full details can be found on the theatre's website. See you there - I'll be the one being physically ejected whilst still laughing uproarously at my own joke about it being a "Good Moaning"...


Oldham Coliseum Theatre said...

Thanks for the mention Liz - we're really glad to hear that the quality of our shows is encouraging people to leave Mnachester City Centre.

Looking forward to seeing you at Hay Fever and Birdsong!

Anonymous said...

I hadn't actually heard of this theatre before, but the shows look awesome. I'm always interested in finding new theatres in the Greater Manchester area, so thanks for pointing me in the direction of Oldham Coliseum :)