AmbITion Re:connected – Oldham Coliseum Case Study

This is a live blog of the AmbITion Re:connected  event at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.  If you spot any errors or inaccuracies or would simply like to contribute to the conversation, leave us a comment!

Up next:
Kay Wells, Alex Williams from Oldham Coliseum sharing about how being involved in the AmbITion project has changed the way Oldham Coliseum operates.

Oldham Coliseum background – produce 8 plays a year.   Audience crave local traditional stories.

Don’t embrace risk taking, want to see the same kinds of shows year after year.   Some staff have worked for Coliseum for 25 years.

AmbITion has provided funding for a new website.  Will allow them to progress onto online booking.   Lots of training for staff.  Training matrix in place appropriate for each department’s needs.  Everyone now on the same level field as far as using technology is concerned.

New play using new technology as a part of performance.   Will involve working with 4 groups of young people with no experience of acting to use new technologies as part of acting!

Also have a group called DigiLAB who are second year students from Oldham College.  Work with Christian Payne (

Now employ a part time online marketing officer.  In 6 years have created a role that is now purely about online engagement.

Have a portable social media kit.  Educational offer now much better.   Students can learn in a professional environment how they are engaging with new technology.

It’s been a struggle to prioritise time spent on this, everyone is working on ‘equity’.  Everyone is aware that it is a change that needs to happen though.

Now hearing from Alex about DigiLab which is about allowing the audience to change the development of a play using new technology.  Will be empowering discussion via Flickr, Twitter etc.

Alex is a director of Bad Panda Theatre, a company developed to implement DigiLab.  A great thing to have on your CV, especially as  a second year student, he says.

Some of the discussions happening within the DigiLab:

Is the Internet a Religion?
What is truth?
What are our dreams?
Mother Earth as Mother Board
Virtual Relationships
Alien technology

All this will feed into a show in November!

Kay adds that one of the most humbling parts of the process has been learning with their participants.   It’s scary to not be the experts.

Next: a panel discussion with Hannah Rudman, Sarah Fisher, Kay Wells and Chris from Writers’ Centre Norwich.


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