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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

Oldham Coliseum postpones Aladdin

As you may have already heard, Oldham Coliseum have made the difficult decision to postpone their annual family pantomime, which this year would have been Aladdin, to Christmas 2021.

A trip to the Coliseum’s annual pantomime has been a festive tradition for local people for many generations and they have been working on Aladdin for months now with their amazing staff and creative team and they are saddened that they have to wait another year to share this with us all.

The Coliseum’s first priority as an organisation is ‘to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, audiences, cast and crew, and our second priority is to ensure that we as a company are here to create the magic of theatre in Oldham for years to come. We feel that trying to stage Aladdin as planned this Christmas would put both of these priorities in jeopardy’.

‘It is simply not possible for us to stage our pantomime with social distancing in place. The high- quality panto you’ve come to expect from the Coliseum requires significant investment – an investment we cannot afford to make if we’re only able to sell a small percentage of our seats. The Government has stated that it cannot give theatres any indication of when they can reopen without social distancing until November at the earliest – the month our panto was due to open.’

‘In addition, we have seen locally in Oldham how quickly Coronavirus can spread, and lockdown measures reinstated. Usually at this point in the year, the making of our panto would be well under way. We would have our cast, our community chorus, be making set, props and costumes, planning to start rehearsals in October. In a year that is incredibly financially challenging because of our extended closure, we cannot commit to investing money in making Aladdin knowing that we might not be able to open the show for our audiences. This would be financially catastrophic for us as an organisation and we cannot risk our future and those of the staff, artists and creatives we support.’

They are currently working on putting together an exciting and unique Autumn season, designed specifically around social distancing, and keeping each other safe, and will announce details of this in due course.

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