On Saturday 8 December Gail Richards and Susan Wildman, Chair and Vice Chair of Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Board of Trustees, undertook an Annie Kenney walk dressed as suffragettes to raise awareness of the local heroine, recruiting another local heroine, Cinderella, on the way.
The two suffragettes walked from Anne Kenney’s childhood home in Springhead, past the church where she worshipped and the site of the mill where she worked, to the Town Hall where she berated her MP Winston Churchill, and onto the theatre where they met up with Cinderella, played by Shorelle Hepkin, before the matinee performance of the Coliseum’s ever popular pantomime.
Gail and Susan are raising money to help fund the statue to commemorate Annie Kenney’s role in extending the rights of women in Britain, due to be unveiled in Oldham outside the Old Town Hall this Friday, 14 December.
Annie Kenney (13 September 1879 – 9 July 1953) was one of the few working class suffragettes. She was imprisoned for the cause alongside Christabel Pankhurst and went on to become deputy leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1912 while Christabel was in exile abroad. Not as well-known as other suffragette leaders, she convinced Prime Ministers and working women alike with the power of her public speaking.
The commemorative statue of Annie Kenney follows two years of hard work and fundraising overseen by Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon, who is also Chair of the Annie Kenney Memorial Fund. The date of the statue unveiling marks 100 years since women in Britain first exercised their right to vote.
Based (loosely) on the fairy tale of the same name, the Coliseum’s hit pantomime Cinderella is the story of a kind hearted girl who is mistreated by her Wicked Stepmother and two Ugly Sisters, Trumpy and Pumpy. With the help of a magical Fairy Godmother, she breaks free from her life of servitude and takes control of her own destiny.
Each year the Coliseum serves up the perfect panto recipe – excellent actors, singers and dancers dishing out the very best in traditional fun that’s great for kids and not-so-grown-up grown-ups. Add some music, songs and slapstick, plus a sprinkling of fairy dust for the perfect Christmas celebration.
Cinderella is sponsored by George Hill Timber and N Brown Group. The pantomime’s Educational Partner is Oldham Hulme Grammar School.
Cinderella runs from Saturday 10 November 2018 – Saturday 12 January 2019 at Oldham Coliseum Theatre.
Tickets can be booked on 0161 624 2829 or at www.coliseum.org.uk
Link to production page: http://www.coliseum.org.uk/plays/cinderella-2/