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Update from Oldham Coliseum

Update from Oldham Coliseum

I was looking forward to the Oldham Coliseum and Hope Mill Theatre both reopening in November. In both spaces several things had been planned, adapted, and audience sizes trimmed to the minimum, to work within the Covid-19 guidelines. Suddenly the fire curtain was brought down again, and It seems it won’t rise again until well into 2021.

The measures that both (indeed all) performance spaces have taken to try and carry on carry a heavy cost – both in terms of their implementation and the huge loss in the allowed attendance. How can any theatre operate when the capacity is constrained to at most 20%? At Hope Mill, the delayed production of Rent might yet go out online, fingers crossed, but at Oldham Coliseum, A Christmas Carol will have to be abandoned, and Drowning and Petrichor will have to be postponed indefinitely.

For most people, sitting in a theatre, in a mask, and unable to have a drink (unless the venue serves “substantial” meals) for a couple of hours doesn’t really appeal. There is a price to pay for most things though – and, if it means the venue can survive, this isn’t a deal breaker. Right now though, even that crutch has been kicked out from under them.

The future looks grim, but, as HMQ said a couple of years ago, it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Please God that theatres won’t always be dark, and the picture below (from Oldham) provides just that ray of hope.

Both Hope Mill and Oldham Coliseum are trying to raise funds to survive. In these rather odd times, where everyone is cutting back, that’s not an easy request, but whatever we all can give (however generous or small) will ensure that we have theatres to attend in the future.

And finally, some great news:

#SaveOurTheatres - Oldham Coliseum

£40,000 reached - huge thank you to all

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/get-behind-us

Paul Schofield for Canal St Online.

Published: 13-Nov-2020 (6041)

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