An award-winning children's writer is bringing a show inspired by his own family's fishing escapades to Oldham next month.

Author and performer Oliver Sykes, 34, wrote children's book Fishing for Rainbows inspired by experiences from his childhood and has now developed it into a show.

Oliver was one of six kids brought up by his single parent dad on a rural council estate.

When his mother suddenly walked out on the family, his father Chris quit his factory job to look after his children.

They survived on free school meals and yellow-stickered, cut price items from the supermarket, supplementing their diet by hunting and fishing, as was common in his dad's Romani culture.

Fishing became an important part of Oliver's childhood, as both an activity for the family and a way to put cheap and nutritious food on the table.

Now, Oliver is touring a show based on Fishing for Rainbows, his second children's book, which has just been longlisted for the 2024 Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards after being published in May last year.

Suitable for audiences aged over five, the stage adaptation of Fishing For Rainbows tells the story of strong-minded siblings Kezia, Duke and Danior Boswell. 

Since their mother passed away, the family has fallen into a strict routine of the boys and father going out to fish whilst 12-year old Kezia stays at home to tidy and cook, however she rebels with a plan.

Oliver, who grew up in the Peak District in north Derbyshire, and now lives in North Wales, said: "Fishing for Rainbows is inspired by my childhood, when I would often go out fishing with my dad and brothers.

"The character of Kezia was created for my little sister Amber, who says she always felt sad not to be invited on the fishing trips.

"It is a story about families, loss and reaching for the stars."

Fishing For Rainbows follows Oliver's successful stage version of his first book, Alfie's First Fight, which was named Illustrated Young Reader of the Year at the 2023 Children’s Literature Festivals Book Award.

Alfie's First Fight show toured to 60 venues across England and Wales, including libraries, theatres, schools and even boxing clubs.

The Fishing for Rainbows show will be performed during half term at Oldham Library & Lifelong Learning Centre, on Friday, February 23 at 10.30am, with tickets costing £5.

A free children's writing workshop follows at 12pm.