Theatre News

Sheffield Theatres summer season to include Victoria Wood and Standing at the Sky's Edge

Chris Bush and Richard Hawley’s award-winning musical will transfer to the National Theatre in 2021

Victoria Wood, Chris Bush and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Victoria Wood, Chris Bush and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Sheffield Theatres summer/ autumn season will include the return of Standing at the Sky's Edge, a world premiere by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Victoria Wood's first play.

Talent was Wood's debut work and will run from 26 June to 18 July, with a press night on 30 June. Directed by Paul Foster, it will have design by Janet Bird, musical supervision by Sarah Travis, sound design by Max Pappenheim and casting by Will Burton. It was originally staged at Sheffield Theatres in November 1978 and will run this summer in the Crucible Theatre, replacing the previously announced production of Oscar and the Pink Lady which has been postponed to allow the show additional development time.

The regional premiere of Caryl Churchill's Escaped Alone will play in the Studio Theatre from 11 to 26 September, with a press night on 15 September. Directed by Sheffield Theatres associate director Caroline Steinbeis, it tells of three old friends and an unexpected neighbour who chat in a garden about their everyday lives.

Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia) will present the world premiere of Typical Girls in the Studio Theatre from 6 to 21 November, with a press night on 10 November. Directed by Clean Break's joint artistic director Róisín McBrinn, the play is also a co-production with Soho Theatre and will run at the London venue with dates to be announced. It takes place in a mental health unit inside a prison, where a group of women form their own punk rock band.

Standing at the Sky's Edge will play in the Crucible Theatre from 30 November to 9 January 2021, after originally premiering at the venue in 2019. The show tells of the last 60 years in Sheffield's Park Hill and was a UK Theatre Award-winner (Best New Musical). With a book by Chris Bush, music and lyrics are by Richard Hawley, direction by Robert Hastie, design by Ben Stones, choreography by Lynne Page, musical supervision by Tom Deering, musical direction by Will Stuart, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Simon Baker and casting by Stuart Burt.

These show join the previously announced Everybody's Got To Leave Sometime by Andrew Muir and the world premiere of Here's What She Said to Me by Oladipo Agboluaje. Everybody's Got To Leave Sometime will be directed by Anna Richmond, with design by Bethany Wells and composition and sound design by Lee Affen. It will run as a co-production between Sheffield People's Theatre and Dante or Die at the Upper Chapel, Sheffield from 26 to 30 May and explores how we deal with the end of life through a series of intimate experiences by a 50-strong cast.

Here's What She Said to Me by Agboluaje will be directed by Moji Elufowoju, with design by Amanda Stoodley, lighting design by Andy Purves, sound design by Rob Hart and casting by Nadine Rennie. It will run in the Studio Theatre from 18 June to 4 July with a press night on 22 June and tells the story of three generations of women on two continents.

Artistic director of Sheffield Theatres Hastie commented: "Talent has all of the wit and warmth, the honesty and everyday tragedy that made Victoria one of the country's best-loved writers. It's wonderful to bring this story, originally commissioned for the Crucible Studio, back to the place where it all began and to welcome Paul Foster back to direct this tragicomedy.

"The season continues with plays by Oladipo Agboluaje, Caryl Churchill and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, directed by the brilliant Moji Elufowoju, Caroline Steinbeis, our associate director, and Róisín McBrinn respectively. All three plays speak to the moment and bring strong female-led companies to our stages.

"Finally, I'm delighted to be bringing Standing at the Sky's Edge back to our stage where it was met with so much passion and pride by our audiences last year. Richard Hawley's incredible music and Chris Bush's brilliant words perfectly captured life in Sheffield's Park Hill over the last 60 years. The backdrop is local, but this is the story of our nation, and I'm thrilled that it will take to the Olivier stage at the National Theatre early in 2021."