Oldham Coliseum Theatre is proud to be a commissioning partner with HOME, Manchester as part of the Homemakers project.
Homemakers is a series of new commissions inviting artists to create new works at home for an audience who are also at home.
These fully funded commissions are an offer to ground-breaking artists to challenge the definition of ‘live performance’, whether through live streaming, recordings, games, interactive stories, personal encounters, or something completely different.
The Coliseum has commissioned Associate Artist Hafsah Aneela Bashir to create a project as part of Homemakers. Hafsah is a poet, playwright and performer and founder and co-director of Outside the Frame Arts.
For Homemakers, Hafsah is creating the Poetry Health Service as a tool for healing. Using both her own poetry and gifted poems she will provide a poetry panaceas by the people for the people.
Emphasising the importance of art to our mental and emotional health, the PHS will be accessible both online and via a dedicated phoneline where people will be able to respond to the service.
The idea was inspired by Hafsah’s daily Instagram Live readings, which she has been delivering since the beginning of the UK lockdown.
Hafsah commented: “I’m so excited to receive a Homemakers commission – one that will draw on my lockdown connections made with strangers on Insta Live through our simple love for poetry.”
Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Artistic Director Chris Lawson added: “We’re delighted to be working in association with our Greater Manchester neighbours at HOME.
“We feel the PHS project, led by Hafsah, is a vital and necessary artistic service that we are proud to support.”
The first Homemakers works by Bryony Kimmings, Ad Infinitum, Plaster Cast Theatre and Chris Thorpe & Yusra Warsama, commissioned by HOME, were announced in April and are now on sale via the HOME website.
The Coliseum’s commission joins commissioned works from ARC Stockton (Vici Wreford-Sinnott); Cambridge Junction (Zoe Svendsen and Hannah Jane Walker); Candoco Dance Company (Jo Bannon); Chinese Arts Now (Naomi Sumner Chan); Fermynwoods Contemporary Art (Anna Brownsted); Lime Pictures (Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake); Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta (Elayce Ismail and Alex Ho); and Z-Arts and STUN (Chad Taylor), expanding the Homemakers project’s scale nationwide.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s building on Fairbottom Street in Oldham town centre is temporarily closed following Government advice during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Coliseum’s teams are working remotely from home to create art and opportunities which can be shared online so that audiences and participants can access them from home.
The theatre’s team is also working to reschedule events which have unavoidably been cancelled. The Coliseum thanks audiences for their patience as its small but dedicated team is working as quickly as possible.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre has only closed once before in its 135-year history. If you are able and would like to support the Coliseum at this difficult time the theatre asks that audiences consider donating all or part of their ticket costs for cancelled events, or donating online at coliseum.org.uk/your-coliseum-needs-you