Following a private screening of the short film Our Sleeping Beauty, which featured a poem by actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, it received over 60,000 views across social media platforms and the Save Our Coliseum website in less than 24 hours! 

The screening was held at a local restaurant, Valentino’s, in the centre of Oldham. It was attended by several councillors from all sides, trustees and Oldham Coliseum board members, actors John Henshaw, Rob Mallard and Mitesh Soni, plus members of the theatre production company Paines Plough. Julie Hesmondhalgh, who spearheaded the Save the Coliseum campaign along with BAFTA award-winning writer Ian Kershaw, introduced the short film to the intimate audience and shared some background on the campaign. Julie went on to thank people in the room, including the staff at Valentino’s, which, like many local businesses, has been affected by the Coliseum’s closure.
“I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that putting Oldham Coliseum back on the table as a producing house of, and for, the people of Oldham is a real possibility again. Since its closure a year ago, a dogged, passionate, devoted, ragtag bunch of theatre lovers ~ mostly Oldhamers or longterm fans of The Coliseum ~ started meeting fortnightly in this very room to fundraise, research, campaign and petition, to laugh, cry and occasionally row! 
Julie went on to thank people in the room, including the staff at Valentino’s, which like many local businesses has been affected by the closure of the Coliseum.
“It has left a huge hole in the cultural landscape of Greater Manchester,” Julie continued. “The Coliseum was a destination venue bringing people into the town centre and was a big employer for artists and technicians, staff and creatives ~ off and on stage ~ and a training ground for many. But, most importantly, it was a place of joy, delight and story telling and connection. 
“Art matters. And art matters especially in towns like Oldham. The Coliseum is a place of history, heritage, togetherness, diversity and enormous civic pride. There aren’t many good news stories right now so just imagine that this could be a good news story for Oldham in 2024 ~ for the panto to be back in 2025!”
Our Sleeping Beauty captured the hearts of everyone in the room, receiving a massive round of applause and plenty of cheering. Its beautiful cinematography serves as a backdrop to a poignant poem written by Julie herself. Zoe Hodges brought the film to life with her music composition.
She and Julie collaborated as producers of the short film, including historical footage spanning the Coliseum’s storied past, edited by Andonis Anthony and Grant Archer. After the screening, Councillor Arooj Shah and Jim McMahon MP delivered passionate words of support. Julie encouraged people to look at the Coliseum at the Roundabout’s event programme, which is taking place in a pop-up theatre in the town centre.

The Save the Coliseum campaigners are asking everyone to sign their petition, which has already reached over 15,000 signatures, and to ‘blow a kiss’ to the Coli:

Meanwhile, Our Sleeping Beauty is available to watch on all social media platforms as well as the Save the Coliseum website itself:  


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here