As his production of Richard Hawley and Chris Bush’s Standing at the Sky’s Edge opens in the Crucible, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, announces programming for 2019.
The new season sees two additional world premières with two adaptions of bestselling books – Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive presented in a co-production with English Touring Theatre, and Giles Foden’s The Last King of Scotland.
Reasons to Stay Alive is imagined for the stage and directed by Jonathan Watkins who returns to Sheffield Theatres following the success of Kes, with text by April de Angelis. Following performances at Sheffield Theatres, the production embarks on a national tour. For The Last King of Scotland, Gbolahan Obisesan, directs Steve Waters’ adaptation.
Full casting is announced for Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. Max Webster directs Hiran Abeysekera (Pi), Mina Anwar (Ma, Orange Juice), Kate Colebrook (Richard Parker), Kammy Darweish (Pi’s Father), Fred Davis (Richard Parker), Tara Divina (Rani), Tom Espiner (Father Martin, Commander Grant-Jones), Raj Ghatak (Mamaji, Pandit-Ji), Owain Gwynn (Richard Parker), Syreeta Kumar(Mrs Biology Kumar, Zaida Khan), David K.S.TSE (Mr Okamoto), Habib Nasib Nader (Cook), and Gabby Wong (Lulu Chen).
The season is completed with two major revivals – Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should, in a co-production with fingersmiths, presented in British Sign Language and spoken English; and for Christmas, Guys and Dolls directed by Hastie.
Also announced today, is the return of Sheffield Theatres’ award-winning musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Currently also running in the West End – at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s musical, directed by Jonathan Butterell, will start a new UK tour at Sheffield Theatres, running from 8 to 29 February 2020.
Robert Hastie said today, “This year at Sheffield Theatres shows the scale of our ambition and the strength of our commitment to home-grown, far-reaching new work. Standing at the Sky’s Edge is followed by Lolita Chakribati’s adaptation of Life of Pi, and by a new season that brings together some of the country’s most exciting theatre artists to tell stories from all over the world. I’m thrilled that Sheffield-born Matt Haig’s inspirational story – Reasons to Stay Alive, will be told with searing physicality in a première by Jonathan Watkins and April de Angelis, and it’s fantastic to be working with ETT to take this ground-breaking piece to audiences around the country. Gbolahan Obisesan and Steve Waters have both made memorable theatre out of modern history, and their take on the Idi Amin story in The Last King of Scotland promises to deliver a powerful dramatic punch. And Charlotte Keatley’s reimagining of her contemporary classic My Mother Said I Never Should to focus on the experience of a family of deaf women is perfect material for the pioneering work of Jeni Draper and fingersmiths. Rounding off the season, I am looking forward to bringing the timeless joy of Guys and Dolls to the stage, and the return of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie to its Sheffield birth place, completing a season that gives Sheffield audiences a world of theatre on our three iconic stages.”