Girl Gang MCR and ThickSkin workshops among highlights as Cultivate theatre upskilling festival returns

By Connie Tucker

OLDHAM Coliseum Theatre’s Cultivate festival returns this year for a week packed with workshops, performances and industry insights for theatre makers.

Back for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, this year’s festival from July 18-23 includes workshops in stand-up comedy, directing, acting for camera, producing, fundraising and more, plus the return of the popular Open Auditions.

Chris Lawson, Artistic Director of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, commented: “Cultivate is a celebration of all elements of theatre and an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in working in the industry.

“In 2019 the festival welcomed over 200 people using all of our public spaces for a variety of workshops and activities, and we’re looking forward to seeing the festival continue to grow in 2022.”

Renowned Manchester-based theatre company ThickSkin present New Ways of Devising. Led by ThickSkin’s Artistic Director, Neil Bettles (Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) this workshop will give attendees the chance to be creators, performers and audience members.

The Coliseum is also holding two days of Open Auditions as part of Cultivate with a panel of theatre professionals including actors, directors and industry leaders.

HIV+ theatre-maker and activist Nathaniel Hall (Channel 4’s It’s A Sin) will lead a workshop for creating solo work, My Life My Story. The workshop will explore how theatre makers can craft their own stories into a work for the stage while celebrating the highs and dealing with the lows of their lives through theatre.

Other workshops include: a Stand-Up Comedy for Beginners workshop with actor Rupert Hill (Coronation Street).

Other workshops include: a Stand-Up Comedy for Beginners workshop with podcast duo Plane Comedy; Acting for Camera with actor Rupert Hill (Coronation Street); and Independent Producing & Fundraising with writing company Emmerson & Ward (Gypsy Queen).

Alongside professional development opportunities, Cultivate features performances of new work from established and emerging Northern writers and artists.

Athena is a new work from female led theatre company RedBobble Arts. It celebrates womanhood by drawing on research into mythology, matriarchal communities, powerful women from global history and local real-life stories from girls and women of all ages.

Two Coliseum Associate Companies present evenings of performances by local theatre-makers and students.

Dare to Know invites presents an evening of short works created by Oldham artists, theatre makers, theatre companies, directors and playwrights,

Rose (Bruford) By Any Other Name… A Student Scratch Night will feature performances by former ALRA North students now enrolled at Rose Bruford College’s Wigan campus.

Cultivate culminates with Girls Night Out 2, an evening of sparkling cabaret with an array of talented performers from around Manchester.

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