The Coliseum, originally called Myer’s New Grand American Circus and Hippodrome, opened its doors in 1885; by 1887 it had been rebranded as The Coliseum with an original capacity of 3000. From 1903 to 1931 the space was used for a number of variety shows and music performances including the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel.
The Coliseum closed in 1931 and would stay that way for the next eight years until the Oldham Repertory Theatre moved into ‘The Coliseum’ in 1939. The theatre housed the Oldham Repertory Theatre for the next 39 years until the company was reconstituted as Oldham Coliseum Theatre in 1978, opening with a production of The Revenge of the Werewolf.
The Oldham Coliseum has focused on more modern productions with an emphasis on 20th and 21st Century Plays. The Coliseum actively encourages script-writing and helps young local playwrights with their first productions. The spirit of education is strong with the Coliseum, with continuous work placements and internships, a programme called The Growing Stage which enables young people to develop skills in performance and digital arts, and WritingLAB which pairs local hopefuls with experienced playwrights.
We encourage all of you to go see Philip Goulding’s A Fine Bright Day Today now showing at the