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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

Rehearsals begin for Oldham Coliseum’s Robin Hood - An Oldham Coliseum Theatre traditional pantomime

By Steve Cooke

Rehearsals are underway for panto fans' annual festive treat at the Oldham Coliseum.

This year it’s Robin Hood with the perfect blend of slapstick, silliness, hit songs and panto magic.

The Coliseum’s traditional pantomime has been delighting audiences for generations, mixing all the best panto traditions with pop culture to bring each unique production bang up to date. This long-established and much-loved festive spectacular is enjoyed by over 35,000 people each year putting the extra sparkle into their festive season.

UK Pantomime Association Award nominee (Best Principal Boy, Aladdin 2021) Shorelle Hepkin returns, this time playing the titular role of Robin Hood.

Liz Carney is back to her wicked ways as The Sheriff.

Stepping into the Pantomime Dame wardrobe is Charlie Ryan as Nurse Nellie.

Fresh from the Coliseum’s September 2022 production of Road, William Travis returns with a very different role as Friar Tuck.

No stranger to Oldham, Sophie Ellicott joins the company playing Ellen A Dale.

Making their Coliseum debuts in 2022 are Nathan Morris as Failsworth, Ian Crowe as Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Sarah Pearson as Maid Marian.

Young people from Oldham will once again perform alongside the theatre’s professional actors, with three pairs of young actors playing the Babes in the Wood and the return of the pantomime’s chorus of young dancers.

Written by Fine Time Fontayne and Chris Lawson, directed by Chris Lawson, designed by Celia Perkins, Musical Director Dave Bintley, choreography by Adele Taylor, Llghting design by Douglas Kuhrt, sound design by Adam McCready, fight direction by Kaitlin Howard, Associate Choreographer Heléna Ferreira.

Last year’s pantomime Aladdin won the UK Pantomime Association Award for Best Costume Design, with Designer Celia Perkins also up for Best Set Design and Shorelle Hepkin nominated for Best Principal Boy. The Coliseum last presented a pantomime of Robin Hood in 2004, then starring national pantomime legend Eric Potts as the Dame.

Robin Hood runs from Saturday 12 November 2022 – Saturday 7 January 2023.

For those who don’t know the Coliseum it as a traditional theatre venue with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. One of the most established venues in the Northwest with a rich history dating back to 1885 - one of the oldest theatres still operating in Britain today.

The Coliseum produces original productions which are presented at home, on tour and online and include new commissions, encouraging a flourishing community of new writers.

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