Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces the new Summer/Autumn 2020 season in the Crucible and Studio theatres.
In the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield will stage the late comedian and writer Victoria Wood’s debut play Talent. Originally commissioned and staged by Sheffield Theatres in 1978, this new production will be directed by Paul Foster (Kiss Me, Kate) and designed by Janet Bird (Guys and Dolls) and will run from Friday 26 June – Saturday 18 July 2020.
Acclaimed new musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge will return to the Crucible from Monday 30 November 2020 – Saturday 9 January 2021. Originally premiering in Sheffield in 2019, Standing at the Sky’s Edge put the city on stage, holding a mirror up to the last 60 years of life at Park Hill – the city’s iconic concrete utopia. Standing at the Sky’s Edge was winner of the 2019 UK Theatre Award for Best Musical. The production will also transfer to the National Theatre’s Olivier in January 2021.
In the Studio Theatre, Sheffield Theatres will host the regional premiere of Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone, directed by Associate Director Caroline Steinbeis. Escaped Alone will run from Friday 11– Saturday 26 September 2020.
This is followed by the world premiere of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Typical Girls from Friday 6 – Saturday 21 November 2020. Typical Girls is a co-production with Clean Break and Soho Theatre, directed by Róisín McBrinn, Clean Break Joint Artistic Director.
These shows join the previously announced Everybody’s Got To Leave Sometime written by Andrew Muir and directed by Anna Richmond – a Sheffield People’s Theatre and Dante or Die co-production from Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 May at the Upper Chapel in Sheffield; and co-production with Utopia Theatre, Here’s What She Said To Me by Oladipo Agboluaje and directed by Moji Elufowoju, in the Studio Theatre from Friday 18 June – Saturday 4 July 2020.
Speaking about the new season, Artistic Director Robert Hastie said:
‘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 tragi-comedy.
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.’
Sheffield Theatres today also announces that work supported by the Arts Council’s small capital fund will get underway in September 2020.
The capital project will see the refurbishment of the front of house and café areas of the Crucible. The plans place audience comfort at the heart of the experience, and include the addition of furnishings, facilities and décor to improve the comfort and use of the building throughout the day. The main foyer space is currently home to community events such as the Dementia Friendly Tea Dances and post-refurbishment the aim is to create the space to expand the community-led programme as well as somewhere that’s open for people to meet, study, work or enjoy creative play and performance.
The Crucible’s outdated sound, lighting and stage gear will also be replaced and upgraded as part of the project, helping to improve the theatre’s technical capabilities. The ‘twinkle light’ sky in the auditorium will be changed to more energy efficient LED fittings and new captioning equipment will be installed to improve the experience for customers who are D/deaf or have a hearing impairment.
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. It will also include a week’s development time in The Bank, Sheffield Theatres’ dedicated space for artists. Applications will open on Friday 21 February and run until Friday 20 March.