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My Coliseum: David Rustidge

Oldham resident David Rustidge worked at Oldham Coliseum for 34 years.

The 78 year old watched his first Panto at the theatre in 1960 before becoming house manager in 1982.

"It was a place of employment. It was a place of enjoyment. It was a place where you met people," David said.

David met many people during his time at the theatre from Sir Kenneth Branagh and Sir Ian McKellen to Barbara Knox and Anne Kirkbride. But it was the generations of ordinary Oldham families filtering through the doors year after year that put a smile on David's face.

After retiring, he became a volunteer and loved nothing more than greeting audience members and showing them to their seats.

"The theatre closed and we all lost our hobby," he said, thinking of himself and his fellow volunteers.

David was devastated when the theatre closed: "I look back at all those productions; musicals, plays, dramas, pantos and it's a part of history and I hope that history is not lost."

He is hopeful that those in authority will listen to the theatre professionals and the people of Oldham when it comes to the future of theatre in the town.

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