Today, Sheffield Theatres announces its new season of shows for 2020 – including a revival of Victoria Wood’s debut play, first produced at Sheffield Theatres over 40 years ago, a riotous World Premiere, a powerful Regional Premiere and the return of its smash-hit musical, Standing at the Sky’s Edge.
First in the Crucible is Talent – originally commissioned for the Crucible Studio 42 years ago, Victoria Wood’s debut play will be directed by Paul Foster (Curtains, West End and UK Tour, Kiss Me, Kate, Sheffield Crucible). It’s 1978, Bunters Club is hosting its Friday Talent Night – the acts on the bill hope that it’s a stepping stone to New Faces or Opportunity Knocks. 24-year-old Julie dreams of stardom, escape from her dead-end job and the chance to leave the drudgery of living at home with her mother. Her less worldly-wise friend Maureen has come along to offer support. Full of Victoria Wood’s unmatched wit and observation, Talent runs from Friday 26 June – Saturday 18 July. Talent will replace the previously announced Oscar and the Pink Lady – which is being postponed to allow for further development before it plays on the Crucible stage.
Kicking off the Autumn season, comes Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill in the Studio. Three old friends and an unexpected neighbour chat in a garden about their everyday lives. But what more has happened to each of them, and what catastrophes has the neighbour seen? Showing us the power of humour and humanity in the face of disaster, it’s directed by Caroline Stenbeis (Love and Information) and is in the Studio from Friday 11 – Saturday 26 September.
Then in the Studio is the World Premiere of Typical Girls, a co-production with Soho Theatre and Clean Break. In a mental health unit inside a prison, a group of women discover the music of punk rock band The Slits and form their own group. An outlet for their frustration, they find remedy in revolution. But in a system that suffocates, can rebellion ever be allowed? Written by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia) and directed by Clean Break’s Joint Artistic Director Róisín McBrinn, Typical Girls is a funny, fierce and furious part-gig, part-play. In the Studio from Friday 6 – Saturday 21 November.
Following its sell-out run, Operation Crucible returns to the Studio 80 years after the Sheffield Blitz. On the 12th December 1940, Sheffield was subjected to a bombing raid which aimed to wipe its world renowned steel works off the map. A single bomb reduced the Marples Hotel, which stood in Fitzalan Square, from seven stories to 15 feet of rubble. Only one of the ten compartments in the hotel’s cellar withstood the blast – trapped within it were four steelworkers. This is their story. Written by Kieran Knowles, it tells the story of four ordinary men in extraordinary times and runs in the Studio from Tuesday 1 December and culminated with a performance on the anniversary of the Blitz on Saturday 12 December.
Completing the 2020 Season comes the return of Standing at the Sky’s Edge from Saturday 30 November – Saturday 9 January 2021. Featuring music and lyrics by Richard Hawley, book by Chris Bush and directed by Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director, Robert Hastie, Standing at the Sky’s Edge is a celebration of strength and solidarity across six decades. Poppy wants to escape her old life, Joy and Jimmy want to spend the rest of their lives together, Rose and Harry want the new life they’ve been promised. This is Park Hill – concrete utopia – where hope hangs on every washing line. Three ordinary families, one extraordinary heart-swelling, heart-breaking tale of love and loss. Captivating audiences and critics alike during its sell-out 2019 debut, Standing at the Sky’s Edge returns to the Crucible stage before it heads to the National Theatre in January 2021.
In the Lyceum this season, audiences can look forward to award-winning adaptations, fan-favourite musicals and cracking comedy joining the previously announced 9 to 5 (Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 September) and The Commitments (Monday 5 – Saturday 10 October). The nostalgic classic Malory Towers from Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 July, the sumptuous Carole King musical Beautiful from Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 September, Mischief Theatre return to bring chaotic comedy Groan Ups from Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 September, James Graham’s Quiz based on the gameshow major coughing scandal from Monday 28 September – Saturday 3 October, the sensational feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! from Monday 12 – Saturday 24 October, Northern Ballet bring The Great Gatsby – choreographed by David Nixon OBE – from Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 October, back by popular demand the electrifyin’ Grease returns from Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 November and finally, Alexandra Burke stars in My Best Friend’s Wedding from Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 November.
An eclectic mix of shows are set to play across Sheffield Theatres’ three spaces, including: Thank You For Doing Nothing (Studio, Tuesday 2 June), Here (Studio, Wednesday 3 June), Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: Together Again, Again (Crucible, Wednesday 3 June), Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales (Lyceum, Thursday 9 – Saturday 11 July), Likkle Rum With Grandma (Studio, Thursday 9 July), Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope (Studio, Wednesday 22 July) and Al Murray: Landlord of Hope and Glory (Lyceum, Saturday 1 August). The World Seniors Snooker Championships will also be returning for a summer slot, in the Crucible from Wednesday 12 – Saturday 15 August.
These shows join the previously announced Run Sister Run (Studio, Thursday 27 February – Saturday 21 March, Coriolanus (Crucible, Friday 6 – Saturday 28 March), Ramps on the Moon’s Oliver Twist (Crucible, Wednesday 13 – Saturday 23 May) Sheffield People’s Theatre and Dante or Die’s production of Everybody’s Got To Leave Sometime (Upper Chapel, Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 May) and Here’s What She Said To Me (Studio, Thursday 18 June – Saturday 4 July).
Also announced is the commencement of work on the Crucible’s capital refurbishment during the autumn. This project has been supported by Arts Council England and will see the theatres creating more welcoming and vibrant foyer spaces for customers to enjoy throughout the day, upgrading technical equipment and continuing to improve its accessibility and environmental sustainability.
In addition, Sheffield Theatres is announcing the Artist Residency scheme, a new strand of its artist development programme. Offering early career theatre and performance makers across South Yorkshire a chance to get their ideas off the ground and test out new collaborations, the Artist Residency scheme will offer 4 seed commissions – two of £500, two of £1000 – as well as a week’s dedicated development time in The Bank. Applications will open on Friday 21 February and run until Friday 20 March. Further details are available at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.
Tickets for all new season productions to Centre Stage Members – who enjoy exclusive discounts and priority booking – on Saturday 14 March at 10am. General booking will open on Saturday 28 March at 10am.