Joyous and anarchic, Oldham Coliseum springs to life this September with Jim Cartwright’s Road. Set during Thatcher’s England in the 1980s, the play offers a powerful game-changing snapshot of Lancashire life – still as relevant today as it was when it was first performed over 30 years ago.
Still as relevant today as it was when it was first performed over 30 years ago.
Witty, poetic and moving, Road is a brutal though beautiful piece of theatre that explores the lives of a group of people living on an un-named road, in a deprived, working-class area of Lancashire during the time Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.
Now considered a modern classic, Jim Cartwright’s debut play was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1986. Following its success, Road went on to be produced at the Lincoln Centre in New York in 1988, with a cast that included Joan Cusack and Kevin Bacon. With a universal appeal and all-too-relevant themes, the play has won numerous awards including The George Devine Award and the Samuel Beckett Award; it’s also been voted into the top 50 best plays in the history of theatre.
It’s also been voted into the top 50 best plays in the history of theatre.
Directed by Gitika Buttoo, who recently directed Love N Stuff at the Coliseum, Road features a strong ensemble of performers. Oldham regular Richard J Fletcher will take the role of narrator and tour guide Scullery alongside Paula Lane, Will Travis, John Askew, Zoe Iqbal, Shaban Dar, Alyce Liburd, Kofi Dennis and Claire Storey.
Of the production, Buttoo told us, “Road is such an iconic story and despite it being set in the 80s I think it’s more relevant now than ever. With the cost of living rising significantly and where we find ourselves as a nation politically and socially – this timely classic captures the grim but true reality of what people’s lives look like when the system has failed. But you’ll have the best night out as these buoyant likeable characters take you for a tour down their road!”