Sheffield Theatres announce 50th anniversary season
The 2022 productions will be staged at Sheffield's Crucible, Studio and Lyceum Theatres
Sheffield Theatres has revealed a plethora of new shows for next year, marking the company's 50th anniversary season.
Described as "a theatrical first," the centrepiece of the 2022 celebrations will see Chris Bush's new trilogy of plays Rock/Paper/Scissors being simultaneously performed at three different venues with the same cast. As characters leave one scene, the actors portraying them are set to dash to another venue to enter another scene as the same characters and so on.
The interlinked pieces, which can also function as standalone plays, tell the tale of Sheffield's oldest scissor factory and the three generations who are battling each other to decide its fate. Rock is playing at the Crucible Theatre, whilst Paper and Scissors will run at the Lyceum Theatre and Studio Theatre, respectively. Artistic director Robert Hastie and associate artistic director Anthony Lau are set to helm the productions with a third director to be announced in due course. Performances are scheduled to run from 14 June to 2 July 2022.
The season will also include a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina by Helen Edmundson, directed by Lau, which officially kicks off the season at the Crucible, running at the Crucible from 5 to 26 February 2022. The production has design by Georgia Lowe, sound by Alexandra Faye Braithwaite and casting by Jacob Sparrow.
Following this will be a double bill under the banner The Contingency Plan, exploring the current climate change crisis. Written by Steve Waters and recently updated to reflect the ongoing global emergency, Chelsea Walker is set to direct On The Beach, whilst Caroline Steinbeis will helm Resilience. Both new productions will run from 11 March to 2 April.
Next up, celebrating ten years of Sheffield People's Theatre will be How a City Can Save the World. This new play is currently in development with Stockroom and is scheduled to run at the Crucible from 3 to 6 August.
Ramp on the Moon's new production of William Shakespeare's beloved comedy Much Ado About Nothing is next on the bill, adapted and directed by Hastie. With every performance featuring integrated creative sign language, audio description and captioning, the piece places D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences at its core. The production plays the Crucible from 9 to 24 September and will then tour to Leeds Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Salisbury Playhouse.
Following the success of its 2021 launch, The Together Season Festival will return from 20 to 29 October 2022, once again offering local talent a platform to showcase new work.
The final production of the 50th znniversary season at the Crucible will be the return Standing at the Sky's Edge, written by Richard Hawley and Chris Bush and directed by Hastie. The hit musical will run from 10 December to 21 January 2023, ahead of a 2023 staging at the National Theatre.
At Sheffield Theatres' more intimate space, the Studio Theatre, the season kicks off with Ryan Calais Cameron's Human Nature from 26 January to 12 February 2022. Led by director Rob Watt and the Theatre Centre, the production will also visit a number of local Sheffield schools, including Handsworth Grange Community College and The Hayfield School.
Following this, John Rwothomack's Far Gone, which follows a young boy's evolution from childhood innocence to child soldier, will run from 17 to 26 February, having been postponed in 2020 due to the global pandemic. This co-production with Rwothomack's new company Roots Mbili Theatre will be directed by Mojisola Elufowoju.
Finally, Tom Basden adapts Dario Fo's 20th-century comedy Accidental Death of an Anarchist for a run at the Studio Theatre from 23 September to 15 October 2022.
Hastie commented: "It's the Crucible and Studio Theatre's 50th birthday and we're celebrating by announcing a whole year of shows. Both spaces have always been synonymous with innovation and collaboration, sparking new ideas and forging friendships with new audiences. We look forward to lighting up our stages with a bold and ambitious programme, championing new work and partnering with brilliant creatives and companies."