OLDHAM Coliseum took a starring role in the most important theatrical awards outside of London.
Nominated for 10 prizes at the Manchester Theatre Awards, the Coliseum scooped three trophies including ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for Kenneth Alan Taylor.
Kenneth, who has performed in over 320 productions since his first appearance at the then Oldham Repertory Theatre in 1959, was honoured for his performance in the North West premiere of ‘The Father’ in July 2017.
And the same play, directed by Chris Lawson, was adjudged ‘Best Production’.
The third prize received was the Target Live Award for ‘Best Visiting Production’ for English Touring Theatre Company’s ‘The Weir’ which had a hit run at the Coliseum in October 2017.
The Manchester Theatre Awards, held at the Lowry, Salford Quays, honours productions seen in Greater Manchester during 2017, with comedian Justin Moorhouse as compere.
Kenneth took the lead role of Andre in ‘The Father’, directed by Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Kevin Shaw.
The production received praise across the board, including four five-star reviews.
Taking the audience on a journey through André’s perspective, ‘The Father’ is a powerful and moving black comedy about the devastating impact of dementia on one man and the people in his life.
Kenneth’s list of credits with the Coliseum include Artistic Director from 1978 to 1982, reopening the theatre after a nine-month closure and reconstituting the Oldham Repertory Theatre as Oldham Coliseum Theatre.
He returned as Chief Executive from 1996-2002 and was presented with the Horniman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre in 1997.
Kenneth said: “I’m delighted, really more for the play than anything else.
“I stand by what I’ve always said, – it’s the best play I’ve ever been in and it’s thanks to Kevin Shaw, the Coliseum’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, for daring to put it on.”
‘The Weir’ is Conor McPherson’s chilling, modern classic set in a small Irish town, where the locals exchange stories around the fire of Brendan’s pub one stormy night.
It came to the Coliseum as the second production to be toured to the Regional Touring Network, an Arts Council England Strategic Touring consortium of nine regional venues, with whom English Touring Theatre produce and tour high quality drama.
Other Coliseum nominees at the Manchester Theatre Awards were:
• Karen Henthorn for Best
Actress in a Leading Role
for her performance as Daisy
Crompton in ‘Spring and Port
• Cliff Burnett for Best Actor in a
Leading Role for his
performance as Mr Gradgrind
in ‘Hard Times’
• Kerry Peers for Best Actress
in a Supporting Role for her
performance as Anne in ‘The
• Thom Michael Blyth for Best
Actor in a Supporting Role
for his performance as Stephen
Blackpool in ‘Hard Times’
• Isobel Bates, Matt Connor,
Richard J Fletcher, Jeffrey
Harmer, Barbara Hockaday,
Anthony Hunt, Thom Petty,
Lauryn Redding, Reece
Richardson and David
Westbrook for Best Ensemble
for their performances in ‘Oh
What A Lovely War’
• Natalie Radmall-Quirke for Best
Actress in a Visiting Production
for her performance in English
Touring Theatre’s ‘The Weir’
• Sean Murray for Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his performance in English Touring Theatre’s ‘The Weir’.