Take a walk with Alphin and Alderman in A Tale of Two Giants podcast

rom Tameside-based actor, theatre maker and writer Tori Burgess, A Tale of Two Giants is a new series of short audio dramas suitable for children, families and seasoned giant spotters. A Tale of Two Giants is supported by Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Micro Commissions 2021.

Based on the Saddleworth folktale of Alphin and Alderman, and the poem Greenfield by Samuel Bottomley, the series of four short audio dramas is a celebration of friendship and the natural beauty on Oldham’s doorstep.

Alphin and Alderman are a pair of big-hearted best friends whose peaceful life in the Saddleworth countryside is disturbed by the arrival of a very unusual fish. With one episode per season we follow a year of gigantic upheaval in the Chew Valley – from the promise of a new Spring to the coldest Winter these old giants can remember.

Each episode is accompanied by a suggested walking route which brings the story to life by retracing Alphin and Alderman’s ginormous footsteps.

Tori Burgess trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has worked across theatre, television, radio and film. She also works creatively alongside communities and young people in Greater Manchester including projects with The Lowry, Royal Exchange Theatre, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Contact.

A Tale of Two Giants was written and performed by Tori Burgess with music and songs by Jake Fletcher and Directed by Sushil Chudasama. It is available to listen to for free on podcast platforms and via the Coliseum’s website, and comes with a free accompanying resource pack.

Exploring themes of health and wellbeing, local stories or work for and with young people from Oldham, the Coliseum’s Micro Commissions 2021 respond to the world as we live in it today, over a year on from the beginning of the pandemic.

Previously released: Angel of History from Digital Artist Grant Archer in collaboration with ballerina Nicky Hensall, actor Shobna Gulati and composer Akshay Gulati is a moving short film exploring what it has meant to be a performer during the pandemic; A Brew, A Terrace and the 184 from Bog Standard Creatives is a tale of growing up in a poverty loop in Oldham; Joyce Branagh’s audio play The Newcomer is the joyful true story of Sophie Wild, a WWII survivor who came to Oldham aged 12 and found acceptance, a calling, and love; and Dare to Know Theatre’s verbatim piece telling the stories of health workers at The Royal Oldham Hospital, A Broken Family, Together.

Further commissioned pieces will be released throughout the rest of May: Caitlin Gleeson’s One Foot In Front of the Other – exploring health and wellbeing through the lens of walking; and the online culmination event of Jade Williams’s creativity and wellbeing project for young people inspired by Black British history, Pablo Fanque’s Fantastic Fair.

All Oldham Coliseum Micro Commissions 2021 are free to access, however the theatre asks that audiences consider making a donation to help them support more great artists to create new work.

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