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Standing at The Sky’s Edge

Standing At The Sky’s Edge’s portrayal of high-rise communities in the iconic concrete housing estate could hardly be bettered.

It’s an evocative setting.

Park Hill was built in the 1950’s as a solution to the city’s social housing. This new musical is all about that estate, its residents and is something very special indeed. It celebrates the people, place and  times.

Written by Chris Bush and with songs by Richard Hawley this new musical delicately tells the story of three very different families through generations in the 1960s, 80s, and 2000s on Sheffield’s most notorious estate. 

The songs? 

Well, here, Hawley’s lethargic northern atmospheric music sound like being punched in the face feels, in a good way. As comforting as a premium whiskey. 

The music pulses and then retracts before erupting in emotional outbursts. The results are kind of brilliant: a show of world-beating standard yet still intimate and gentle, a cherishing of the mundane, a blast of the everyday, a love of life. 

The story? Bush’s book cleverly tells the tale of three generations of Park Hill tenants. The words probably read like quirky poetry on the page but they cut through the air with wit & warmth when spoken. 

It is inevitably kaleidoscopic and somewhat beautifully fragmented, leaving the audience to piece together the connections. It’s political too; unpacking the destructive role of class in British society. It feels vital in its portrait of a divided nation.

Technically, Alex Young delivers an all-round emotionally true performance that grips from the start with ‘Lady Solitude’. Nevertheless, a fine cast shine consistently.

In the best possible sense, Standing At The Sky’s Edge is like a 21st Century Blood Brothers: authentic socialist principles intact, a gripping story and frankly sensational songs.

We get the industrial pain, Thatcher despair, Brexit Britain & more, it wears its political heart on its sleeve. It isn’t West End razzle dazzle, it is theatre rooted in its time(s) and place. 

There are some big gloriously unifying moments, too — all the ingredients are here for a massive crossover theatre moment, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving creative team. 

In Act 1 closing number ‘There’s a Storm A-Comin’ a sofa is lobbed off a balcony, litter bins are emptied across the stage & the current political crisis context lends the audacious choreography  an added intensity. 

Robert Hastie’s production delights in being visceral. Ben Stone’s concrete multi-level design are to be both stunningly simple and enchanting; it all adds up to something greater than the sum of its parts. 

Seriously, this show made grown men around me weep, made me fall deeper in love with Sheffield than I have ever been before, could save as many relationships as it ignites. It touched people around me deeply. 

Act 2 swells the heart completely and invites the audience in with the unavailingly stirring ‘Standing At The Sky’s Edge’ during this storming scene the company takes off; ensemble are startlingly confrontational. 

I mean, bloody hell. 

Later on, intimacy suits: ‘After The Rain’ is so fragile as to nearly come apart at the seams. Importantly, it was a lot of fun.

This is a musical that, in Robert Hastie’s beautifully clear production, left the heart full & the brain buzzing. 

Standing at The Sky’s Edge deserves to transfer to our Royal National Theatre. 

Cheers, Rufus. 

Sheffield Theatres announces new season to complete programming for 2019

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.”

 CRUCIBLE

A Sheffield Theatres Production

LIFE OF PI

Based on the novel by Yann Martel

Adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti

Director Max Webster; Designer: Tim Hatley; Puppetry and Movement Director: Finn Caldwell Puppetry Designers: Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell; Lighting Designer: Tim Lutkin

Composer: Andrew Mackay; Sound Designer: Carolyn Downing; Video Designer: Andrzej Goulding Casting Director: Polly Jerrold; Associate Designer: Ross Edwards

28 June – 20 July 2019

Press night: 8 July at 7.15pm

 After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a single lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen-year-old boy and a hungry Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?

Based on one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction – winner of the Man Booker Prize, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide – Life of Pi is a dazzling new theatrical adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope. A film of the book, adapted by Ang Lee, was released in 2012.

Award winning writer Yann Martel’s works include The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (1993), Self (1996), We Ate the Children Last (2004), Beatrice and Virgil (2010) – a New York Times Bestseller and a Financial Times Best Book, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister (2012) – a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada; and The High Mountains of Portugal (2016).

Lolita Chakrabarti is an award-winning actress and playwright. Her writing credits include Red Velvet which opened at the Tricycle Theatre in London in 2012 before returning there in 2014, transferring to New York and the West End. Red Velvet was nominated for nine major awards including two Oliviers. She won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the AWA Award for Arts and Culture. She has adapted Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino for Manchester International Festival 2019 working alongside digital projection company 59 Productions, Ballet Rambert and Sidi Larbi Cherkhaoui. She recently curated and wrote for The Greatest Wealth, a salute to the NHS on its 70th birthday, at The Old Vic.  She produced Of Mary, a short film directed by Adrian Lester which won Best Short Film at PAFF, Los Angeles in 2012. As an actress she has worked on stage and screen for the last thirty years.  Recent credits include Fanny and Alexander at The Old Vic, Hamlet at RADA directed by Kenneth Branagh, Born to Kill (Channel 4), The Casual Vacancy (BBC/HBO), and she is soon to be seen on Riviera (Sky Atlantic) and Defending the Guilty (BBC).

Hiran Abeysekera plays Pi. His theatre work includes The Prisoner (Théâtre Des Bouffes Du Nord), Cymbeline, Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company), Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and Behind The Beautiful Forevers, War Horse Prom (National Theatre). For television his work includes Find Me in Paris and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 Mina Anwar returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ma, Orange Juice – she previously appeared in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (also West End) and King Lear.  Her other theatre work includes Oats (RSC), Birth International Theatre Festival (Royal Exchange), The Infidel – The Musical (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and The Iron Man (Young Vic). Her work for television includes Damned, The A Word, In the Club, Upstart Crow, Cuffs, Marley’s Ghosts, Scott and Bailey, Moving On, Happy Valley, House of Anubis, A Passionate Woman, Scoop, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Shameless and Love Soup; and for film, The Infidel and Maybe Baby.

Kate Colebrook plays Richard Parker. For theatre, her work includes La Princesse Légère (Opera Comique Paris), Don Q (Flintlock Theatre Company), Ariodante (Festival D’Aix-en Provence), War Horse (National Theatre) and Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket). For television, her work includes Call My Agent and Versailles; and for film, Retour à Bollène.

Kammy Darweish plays Pi’s Father. His theatre credits include Approaching Empty (Kiln Theatre and national tour), All My Sons (Nottingham Playhouse), East is East (Nottingham Playhouse/Northern Stage/UK tour), Wild Honey (Hampstead Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra, Holy Warriors (Shakespeare’s Globe), City Madam, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Marat Sade (RSC), Blood and Gifts, Conduct Unbecoming, Romeo and Juliet, Hiawatha, Peer Gynt (National Theatre), Mirror for Princes, The Bottle, Pericles, Midnight’s Children (Cardboard Citizens/RSC), Dance Like a Man (Tara Arts), The Merchant of Venice (Phoenix Theatre), The Snow Queen, Don’t Drink the Water, Julius Caesar, Woyzeck (Bristol Old Vic). His television credits include Ackley Bridge, Saddam’s Tribe: Bound by Blood, White Teeth; and for film Skyfall, 31 North 62 East, The Omen and Colour Me Kubrick.

Fred Davis plays Richard Parker. His work with Gyre & Gimble includes puppeteer of Napoleon the chimpanzee in The Hartlepool Monkey (UK Tour), Mani and Tonk the orangutans in Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and UK Tour).

Other work as a performer includes Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Pass It On and Rattigan’s Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Witches and The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (Chichester Festival Youth Theatre), The Tempest (Petersfield Shakespeare Festival) and Experiment (Nuffield Southampton Theatres).

Tara Divina plays Rani. She recently graduated from Mountview. Her stage work includes Not Such Quiet Girls (Opera North); and for film, the forthcoming Blinded by Light.

Tom Espiner plays Father Martin, Commander Grant-Jones. His theatre work includes Berberian Sound Studio (Donmar Warehouse), Peggy For You (Hampstead Theatre and West End), Tombstone Tales (Arcola Theatre), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Unicorn Theatre), Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Barbican Pit), Anything Goes, Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Theatre), The Firework-Maker’s Daughter (Told By An Idiot / Lyric Hammersmith), Jason and the Argonauts (BAC), and for Sound&Fury, Kursk (also Young Vic and Sydney Opera House), War Music, The Watery Part of the World, and Ether Frolics. His television work includes Anybody’s Nightmare and The Jewish Revolt; and for film, Stoned.

Raj Ghatak returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Mamaji, Pandit-Ji – he previously appeared in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. His other theatre work includes The Kite Runner, Miss Meena and the Masala Queens (UK tours), Drones Baby Drones (Arcola Theatre), The Low Road, The Spiral, Free Outgoing, Shades/Unheard Voices (Royal Court Theatre), Free Outgoing (Traverse Theatre), The Bad, Sad and Broken Hearted, Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), The Secret Garden (Edinburgh Festival Theatre/Toronto), and Bombay Dreams (West End). His television work includes Hetty Feather, Taboo, Dead Set, The 7:39 and Synchronicity; and for film, Christopher Robin, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, Starter for 10, and Birthday Girl.

Owain Gwynn plays Richard Parker. His theatre credits include War Horse, The Light Princess (National Theatre), The Lorax (The Old Vic), Peter Pan, Porgy & Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Deffro’r Gwanwyn (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), and Hamlet, Not About Heroes, Ghosts, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (Theatr Clwyd). Television credits include Britannia; and for film, Apostle.

Syreeta Kumar plays Mrs Biology Kumar, Zaida Khan. Her theatre credits include Equus (Theatre Royal Stratford East and national tour), The Breakfast Plays (Traverse Theatre), Made in India, The Husbands (Soho Theatre), Twelfth Night, Midnight’s Children, Hamlet, Camino Real, Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Little Red Riding Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East). Television credits include Coronation Street as series regular D.C. Leslie

David K.S.TSE plays Mr Okamoto. For theatre, his work includes From Shore to Shore (On the Wire/UK tour), Chimerica (Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre), The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei (Hampstead Theatre), Yellow Gentlemen (Oval House), Cross-mopolitan (Chung Ying), Play Stars (Soho Theatre), and Rashomon (Riverside Studios). For television, his work includes Tokyo Trial, Chimerica, Devs, DCI Banks and Cracker; and for film, Deus in Machina, Paradise War, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Spy Game and Bhaji on the Beach.

Habib Nasib Nader plays Cook. His theatre work includes Secret Cinema: Star Wars (The Empire Strikes Back), Downtown Paradise (Welsh Fargo Theatre Company), The Grouch (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and White Open Spaces (Sweden National Touring/Pentabus Theatre and Soho Theatre). Television work includes Zapped, Law and Order UK, Come Fly With Me, Beehive, Mistresses and Little Britain; and for film, Four Warriors, Under Milk Wood, The Golden Compass, Revolver and The Libertine.

Gabby Wong plays Lulu Chen. For theatre, her work includes Pah La (Royal Court Theatre), Dear Elizabeth (Gate Theatre), ManCoin (Vault Festival), Troilus & Cressida, The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice, Volpone (RSC), The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth (National Theatre), and Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s/ Jamie Lloyd Company). For television, her work includes Strangers; and for film, Rogue One – A Star Wars Story.

Max Webster was the inaugural Baylis Director at the Old Vic and is now an Associate Director at the theatre where his work includes Fanny and Alexander, Cover My Tracks and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. His other stage work includes the forthcoming The Merry Widow (ENO), The Jungle Book (Northampton/Fiery Angel UK tour), The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum, Edinburgh), King Lear (Royal & Derngate, Northampton/UK tour), Mary Stuart (PARCO Productions, Tokyo), The Twits (Leicester Curve/UK tour), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe/International Tour), Orlando, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Young and Foolish Heart (Royal Exchange Manchester), Shostakovich’s Hamlet

(City of London Symphonia), James and the Giant Peach, My Generation (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Anna Karenina (Arcola Theatre), The Chalk Circle (Aarohan Theatre, Nepal), Carnival Under the Rainbow and Feast Kakulu (Hilton Arts Festival, South Africa).

STUDIO

A Sheffield Theatres and English Touring Theatre production

World Première

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE

By Matt Haig

Imagined for the stage by Jonathan Watkins

Text written by April de Angelis

Director Jonathan Watkins

 13 – 28 September

Press night: 18 September, 7.45pm

‘Life is waiting for you. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.’

At 24 Matt’s world collapsed under the weight of depression. This is the true story of his journey out of crisis; a profoundly uplifting exploration of living and loving better. The first theatrical adaptation of Matt Haig’s frank and funny bestseller. This play with music and movement, imagined for the stage by Jonathan Watkins, celebrates what it means to be alive.

Matt Haig is a British author for children and adults. His memoir Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children’s book A Boy Called Christmas was a runaway hit and is translated in over 25 languages. His novels for adults include the award-winning The Radleys and The Humans. He won the TV Book Club ‘book of the series’, and has been shortlisted for a Specsavers National Book Award. The Humans was chosen as a World Book Night title. His children’s novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times.

April De Angelis’ work includes Wild East (Young Vic), The Village adapted from Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna (Theatre Royal Stratford East), My Brilliant Friend adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novels (Rose Theatre Kingston), Rune (Old Vic Stoke), After Electra (Plymouth Theatre Royal and Tricycle Theatre), Jumpy (Royal Court and Duke of York’s), Catch (a collaboration with four other female playwrights) and Wild East (Royal Court), A Gloriously Mucky Business (Lyric Hammersmith), Calais (Paines Plough/Oran Mor), Country (Terror Season, Southwark Playhouse), an adaptation of Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep Theatre), A Laughing Matter (Out of Joint Theatre Company, National Theatre), The Warwickshire Testimony (RSC, The Other Place), The Positive Hour (Out of Joint Theatre/National Tour) and Playhouse Creatures (Sphinx Theatre Company, later revived by The Old Vic Theatre).

Jonathan Watkins directed and adapted KES (Sheffield Crucible Theatre, UK) a full-length dance-theatre production of the book ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ by Barry Hines and created the first dance adaptation of George Orwell’s modern classic 1984 for Northern Ballet (UK Tour and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, May 2016). 1984 won Best New Dance Production at The Southbank Sky Arts Awards 2016 and was broadcast on the BBC with a DVD release by Opus Arte. Other credits include; Silent Vision, Stop Me When I’m Stuck, In The Presence of Others (Royal Ballet at Linbury Studio Theatre), As One (Royal Ballet), Diana and Actaeon for the production Metamorphosis: Titian (Royal Opera House/BBC Imagine film), Beyond Prejudice, Free Falling (Curve Foundation, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), NOW (New York City Ballet), Anger Fix (Sadler’s Wells), From Within and Onwards (Royal Ballet School), Push, Pull and all in-between and Osmosis (Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre), Together Alone (Ballet Black), Eventual Progress (Ekaterinburg Ballet Theatre, Russia),  Present Process (Ballet Manila, Philippines), A Northern Trilogy (Northern Ballet), and Crash (Texas Ballet Theatre). He also worked as Movement Director on Road by Jim Cartwright (Royal Court Theatre), People by Alan Bennett (National Theatre), The Machine (Manchester International Festival/Donmar Warehouse/New York Park Avenue Armoury), Aristocrats and Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse). On film Route 67 for The Slice Project. Sofa, which he also directed, and Bunker for Channel 4’s Random Acts series. He produced and directed the Iphone Dance Series, a collection of Iphone shot dance films and recently directed the Saint-Petersburg Film Festival selected short Imperfect Perfection. 

 CRUCIBLE

A Sheffield Theatres Production

World Première

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

Based on the novel by Giles Foden

Adapted for the stage by Steve Waters

Director Gbolahan Obisesan

27 September – 19 October

Press night: 1 October, 7pm

‘He is the sickness and you maintain that sickness’

Idi Amin is the self-declared President of Uganda. When Scottish medic Nicholas Garrigan becomes his personal physician, he is catapulted into Amin’s inner circle. A useful asset for the British Secret Service, is Garrigan the man on the inside, or does he have blood on his hands too? The first stage adaptation of the award-winning novel that inspired the Oscar-winning movie, The Last King of Scotland is an electrifying thriller about corruption and complicity.

Giles Foden was assistant editor of The Times Literary Supplement and deputy literary editor of The Guardian. His first novel, The Last King of Scotland, won the 1998 Whitbread First Novel Award, a Somerset Maugham Award, a Betty Trask prize and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Award. It was made into a feature film, starring Forest Whittaker (who won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance) as Idi Amin, and directed by Kevin McDonald. His other books include Ladysmith, Zanzibar and Turbulence, and non-fiction book, Mimi and Toutou Go Forth.

Steve Waters’ plays include Limehouse (Donmar Warehouse, 2017), Temple (Donmar Warehouse, 2015), Why Can’t We Live Together? (Menagerie Theatre/Soho/Theatre503, 2013), Europa, as co-author (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/Dresden State Theatre/Teatr Polski Bydgoszcz/Zagreb Youth Theatre, 2013), Ignorance/Jahiliyyah (Hampstead Downstairs, 2012), Little Platoons (Bush Theatre, 2011), The Contingency Plan (Bush Theatre, 2009), Fast Labour (Hampstead, in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse, 2008), Out of Your Knowledge (Menagerie Theatre/ Pleasance, Edinburgh/East Anglian tour, 2006-8), World Music (Sheffield Crucible, 2003, and subsequent transfer to the Donmar Warehouse, 2004), The Unthinkable (Sheffield Crucible, 2004), After the Gods (Hampstead Theatre, 2002), and English Journeys (Hampstead Theatre, 1998). His writing for television and radio includes Safe House (BBC4), The Air GapThe Moderniser (BBC Radio 4), Scribblers, Bretton Woods (BBC Radio 3), and Fall of The Shah (BBC World Service 9-part series).

Gbolahan Obisesan directed four plays as part of The Bush Theatre’s 66 BOOKS project which ran at the Bush and Westminster Abbey. Other directing credits include SUS (Young Vic and UK tour – Jerwood Award for directing) and he was Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and resident director for the Fela! (National Theatre). Associate Director credits include The Way of The World, and Julius Caesar (RSC). He is Genesis Fellow of the Young Vic Theatre and is under commission to Eclipse Theatre Company. Previous credits include SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work (Unicorn Theatre), We Are Proud To Present… (Bush Theatre), Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic / Edinburgh Festival) and Mad About The Boy (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour). He was one of the six writers and the only British writer on Rufus Norris’ Feast, commissioned by the Royal Court and The Young Vic for their World Stages London which was produced at The Young Vic.

STUDIO

A Sheffield Theatres and fingersmiths Production

MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD

By Charlotte Keatley

8 – 23 November

Press night: 12 November, 7.45pm

Director Jeni Draper

‘You are always your Mother’s child, my Mother used to say’

 A moving and funny exploration of the lives of four generations of women in one family. Shifting back and forth in time, we see their loves, expectations and choices play out against the huge social changes of the past century.

A contemporary classic, Sheffield Theatres is delighted to work with fingersmiths (Up ’n’ Under) to present this multi-award-winning play in British Sign Language and spoken English. Featuring a cast of d/Deaf and hearing actors, this production’s visual, physical storytelling style captures the power of a timeless story which shows it’s never too late to change.

All performances are in spoken English and British Sign Language (BSL) and are accessible for hearing and Deaf audiences.

Charlotte Keatley is an award-winning playwright and My Mother Said I Never Should is the most widely performed play ever written by a woman, having now been translated or produced in 31 countries from Japan to Peru. in 2000 the National Theatre named it one of the Significant Plays of the Twentieth Century, and it is a GCSE set text. Other credits include The Iron Serpent, An Armenian ChildhoodWaiting for MartinFears and Miseries in the Third TermThe Ringing Singing Tree, The Sleep of ReasonI am Janet, and Our Father (published by Methuen). Keatley has also written for radio, television and film. She was co-winner of an EMMY for filming in children’s prisons in Georgia, East Europe, for a the C4 documentary Kids Behind Bars. She has run playwriting workshops from Burnley to Shanghai, and continues to run workshops in theatres, schools, universities and for community groups of all ages.

Jeni Draper directs. For fingersmiths, Jeni Draper has directed War Crimes for the Home (R&D commission Pulse Festival), Frozen (Birmingham Rep co-pro and national tour), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (R&D) and In Praise of Fallen Women (co-creator with Kaite O’Reilly and Jean St Clair). Her other directing credits include Invisible Women (Writer: Nicky Werenowska in development 2018), Don’t Leave Me Now (rehearsed readings ongoing), War Crimes for the Home (tour), Inheritance (R&D), Merry Wives of Waltham (London fringe), Silence (R&D Mercury Colchester) and Counting the Ways (Face Front Theatre, national tour). Jeni also works as a consultant for individual artists and companies. fingersmiths is an Associate company at New Wolsey Theatre and Jeni is an Associate Artist at Prime Youth Theatre Swindon. She is a qualified sign language interpreter and trainer.

A Sheffield Theatres Production

CRUCIBLE

GUYS AND DOLLS

A Musical Fable of Broadway Based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) LTD

Director: Robert Hastie

7 December 2019 – 18 January 2020

Press night: 12 December, 7pm

‘Luck be a lady tonight!’

It’s time to roll the dice and fall in love under the bright lights of New York city! To settle a bet, high roller Sky Masterson pursues straight-laced Sergeant Sarah Brown, only to fall head over heels for his unlikely love. This spectacular musical comedy is a high energy riot of breathtaking dance and features all-time favourites Luck be a Lady, Guys and Dolls and the irresistible Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.

Robert Hastie’s recent productions as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres include Standing at the Sky’s Edge, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The York Realist (co-production with the Donmar Warehouse – Evening Standard Theatre Award nomination for Best Director), The Wizard of Oz, Of Kith and Kin (co-production with Bush Theatre) and Julius Caesar. Previous directing credits include Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Manchester), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clwyd). As an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse, his work includes My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot (Donmar Warehouse/West End – Best Newcomer nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Best Revival nomination at the Olivier Awards) and Splendour by Abi Morgan. His other directing credits include Carthage and Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Sunburst (Holborn Grange Hotel), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre) and A Breakfast of Eels (Print Room).

 

Casting update for Sheffield Theatres’ 2019 season

Robert Hastie

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie today announced the full casts for the debbie tucker green’s hang; and the world première of his production of the new musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge with music and lyrics by Richard Hawley and book by Chris Bush.

For hangTaio Lawson directs Diveen Henry (Three), Marianne Oldham (One) and Sid Sagar (Two). The production opens on 26 February, with previews from 21 February, and runs until 9 March.

For Standing at the Sky’s EdgeRobert Hastie directs Darragh CowleyNicole DeonLouis GauntAdam HugillRobert LonsdaleFela LufadejuMaimuna MemonJohanne MurdockDamian MyerscoughAlastair NatkielFaith OmoleDeborah TraceyRachael Wooding and Alex Young.          The production opens on 20 March, with previews from 15 March, and runs until 6 April.

STUDIO

A Sheffield Theatres Production

hang

By debbie tucker green

 21 February – 9 March 2019

Press night: 26 February, 7.45pm

Cast: Diveen Henry (Three), Marianne Oldham (One) and Sid Sagar (Two)

Director: Taio Lawson; Designer: Rosanna Vize; Movement Director: Jenny Ogilvie; Lighting Director: Andy Purves; Sound Designer: Dan Balfour; Casting Director:Karishma Balani

‘You want to know my decision’

Nearly now; in a Britain with a radically altered legal system, a woman has made her choice. As the victim of a serious crime, she is in control of the perpetrator’s fate.

Searing and darkly humorous, hang explores morality and a sense of justice through the lens of one victim’s decision.

 debbie tucker green is a writer-director and works across theatre, television and film. Her theatre credits include a profoundly affectionate passionate devotion to someone (-noun)hangtruth and reconciliation and random (Royal Court), nut (National Theatre) and generations (Young Vic). The film version of random, which she adapted from her stage play and directed for Channel 4, won the BAFTA for Best Single Drama in 2012. Debbie’s first feature film Second Coming won the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015 Big Screen Award and was BAFTA nominated. She has written and directed several radio plays including an adaptation of Assata Shakur’s biography Assata Shakur – the FBI’s Most Wanted Woman, as well as original work including lament – winner of a gold ARIAS award, gone and freefall.

Diveen Henry plays Three. Her theatre work includes Hamlet (Barbican), Cape (Unicorn Theatre), Helen (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night(RSC), Guts, Sunburn, Out of It, Trying It On, The Carnival King, Stories of War, Get Away from Me (Royal Court Theatre) and The Darker Face of Earth (National Theatre). For television, her work includes Temple, Death in Paradise, Bliss, No Offence, Apple Tree Yard, From the Cradle to the Grave, Dumping Ground, Count Arthur Strong, Coming Up, Misfits and Luther; and for film, Dreams of a Life, London River, Hell’s Pavement and Grown Your Own.

 Marianne Oldham plays One. Her theatre work includes A Monster Calls, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The Old Vic), The Argument (Hampstead Theatre),The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sons Without Fathers (Arcola Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry), You Can Still Make a Killing(Southwark Playhouse) and The Real Thing (ETT). For television, her work includes A Very English Scandal, The Living and The Dead, Life in Squares, Obsession, The Musketeers and The Crimson Field; and for film, Finding Your Feet, Absolutely Anything, Silent Girl and Titus.

Sid Sagar plays Two. His theatre credits include White Teeth, The Invisible Hand (Kiln Theatre), Julius Caesar (Bridge Theatre), Queen Anne (RSC/Theatre Royal Haymarket), The TempestCymbelineThe OresteiaThe Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), Treasure (Finborough Theatre), The History Boys (UK tour), True Brits(HighTide/Edinburgh/Bush Theatre), and Eternal Love  (Shakespeare’s Globe & English Touring Theatre). His television work includes Press, Strike: Career of Evil, The Hollow Crown and The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies; and for film, Eaten By Troll, Murder on the Orient Express, Karma Magnet.

Taio Lawson directs. He is Resident Assistant Director at Sheffield Theatres (part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme). For Sheffield Theatres, Assistant Director credits include Love and Information, Frost/Nixon, The Wizard of Oz and Desire Under The Elms. As Director credits include How To Make Love To A Muslim Without Freaking Out (Rehearsed Reading, Bush Theatre), Face in a Jar (St Paul’s Furzedown Church/Rhoda McGaw Theatre), What We Are, 90’s Kid (ETC Theatre), Gutted ‘n’ Battered(UK/International Tour) and Sexy Buff Ting (Cockpit Theatre). As Assistant Director credits include Life of Galileo, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (Young Vic), OIL, They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida Theatre), Octagon (Arcola Theatre) and Perseverance Drive (Bush Theatre). Lawson is also a patron for COMMON which is a non-profit arts organisation which exists to support the UK theatre industry in achieving greater socio-economic diversity, and make theatre more accessible to the working-class; whether they be artists, audiences or communities.

CRUCIBLE

A Sheffield Theatres Production

World Première

STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE

Music and Lyrics by Richard Hawley

Book by Chris Bush

15 March – 6 April

Press night: 20 March, 7pm

Cast: Darragh CowleyNicole DeonLouis GauntAdam HugillRobert LonsdaleFela LufadejuMaimuna MemonJohanne MurdockDamian MyerscoughAlastair NatkielFaith OmoleDeborah TraceyRachael Wooding, and Alex Young.

Director: Robert Hastie; Designer: Ben Stones; Choreographer: Lynne Page

Musical Supervisor: Tom Deering; Musical Director: Will Stuart; Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson

Sound Designer: Simon Baker; Casting Director: Stuart Burt CDG

“Tonight the streets are ours”

Park Hill. To the dreamers who designed it, it’s a streets-in-the-sky paradise for the workers of a great city. To successive governments, it’s a symbol of everything they’d rather ignore. To the people who live there, it’s home. With a soaring score combining new and classic songs by Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky’s Edge tells the story of three families through 60 turbulent years in a heart-swelling, heart-breaking love song to Park Hill, Sheffield’s concrete utopia, where there’s ‘hope hung on every washing line’.

Richard Hawley is synonymous with his native city of Sheffield. He has released eight studio albums over the last 16 years with two being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. He is also a Brit nominee and received a South Bank award in 2007. Over the years Richard has become as well known for his guitar playing as his singing and has dueted with Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra and Shirley Bassey, and also having played with Arctic Monkeys, Elbow, Paul Weller, Manic Street Preachers and Pulp, the band he played guitar with for a number of years. Best known for his mix of classic songwriting, soothing vocals and northern grit realism, Richard is something of a unique artist in British popular music; being able to cross boundaries from one musical style to another whilst keeping intact his own strong identity.

Chris Bush is a Sheffield-born playwright, lyricist and theatre-maker. For Sheffield Theatres, her credits include Steel, What We Wished For, A Dream and The Sheffield Mysteries. Other work includes Pericles (National Theatre) and The Changing Room (NT Connections 2018) The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatre Clwyd – Best Musical UK Theatre Awards), A Declaration from the People (National Theatre), Larksong (New Vic Theatre), Cards on the Table (Royal Exchange Manchester), ODD (Royal & Derngate concert performance), Sleight & Hand (Summerhall and BBC Arts), TONY! The Blair Musical (York Theatre Royal and UK tour), Poking the Bear (Theatre503) andWolf (National Theatre Studio reading).

Darragh Cowley plays Gary. Cowley graduated from Guildford School of Acting in 2018. His theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Hope Mill Theatre) and Snow White(London Palladium).

 Nicole Deon plays Connie. Her theatre work includes Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre), The Wind in the Willows (London Palladium and UK tour) and Mack and Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK tour).

 Louis Gaunt returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Kevin  – he previously appeared in Kiss Me, Kate. His theatre work includes Oklahoma! (Grange Park Opera – The Stage Debut Award for Best Actor in a Musical), Sweet Charity (Nottingham Playhouse) and Dick Whittington (London Palladium). For television, his work includes Strictly Come Dancing and The Entire Universe.

 

Adam Hugill plays Jimmy. He recently graduated from LAMDA and this marks his professional stage debut. His television work includes Pennyworth and World on Fire; and for film, How To Stop a Recurring Dream and The Banishing.

 

Robert Lonsdale plays Harry. For theatre his credits include A Lie of the Mind (Southwark Playhouse), Plaques and Tangles, Open Court: Piigs and Brilliant Adventures (Royal Court Theatre), Another Place (Plymouth Theatre Royal), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), A Life (Finborough Theatre), Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse), Finding Neverland (Curve, Leicester), La Bete (Harold Pinter Theatre) and The Indian Wants the Bronx (Young Vic). For television his credits include Vera, Chewing Gum, Love Sick, The Interceptor, Lost Christmas, A Passionate Woman, Plus One and Decisions; and for film, The Glass House.

 

Fela Lufadeju plays George. His theatre work includes Guys and Dolls (Manchester Royal Exchange), Room (Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham Rep and Curve Leicester), Beautiful (Aldwych Theatre) and Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios).

 Maimuna Memon plays Nikki. Her theatre work includes Into the Woods (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clywd). Most recently she performed in, and composed the score and lyrics for, Electrolyte (Edinburgh Fringe and forthcoming UK tour).

 Johanne Murdock plays Vivienne. For theatre, her credits include Leave to Remain (Lyric Hammersmith), King Lear (Duke Of York’s Theatre), Toy Boy Diaries (Hope Mill Theatre), Duffy Beats The Devil (Acorn Theatre, Penzance), The Other Shakespeare (Anne Hathaway’s House and Oxford), Julius Caesar, Wind In The Willows, Taming Of The Shrew, Macbeth, Long Live, Richard III, Merry Wives Of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet (Guildford Shakespeare Company) and The Comedy Of Errors (The Globe on Tour). For television, her work includes Hollyoaks, Holby City, EastEnders and Obsession Dark Desires; and for film, My Mother, Postcards From London, Being and Kayleigh’s Love Story.

 Damian Myerscough plays Charles, Trevor, Seb, Workman. For theatre, his work includes Romeo and Juliet (HOME Manchester), A Bunch of Amateurs (The Watermill Theatre), Mamma Mia! (international tour), A View From the Bridge (Bolton Octagon), The Play What I Wrote, Arsenic and Old Lace (UK tours), Driving Miss Daisy (Oldham Coliseum) and Night Swimming, A Christmas Carol, Oedipus, Treasure Island, The Tempest, Abigail’s Party and The Count of Monte Cristo (Nuffield Southampton Theatres). For television, his work includes PhoneShop, Missing, Gunpowder Plot, Ivanhoe and Out of the Blue; and for film, Charlotte Gray, Jeremiah and The Man Who Knew Too Little.

 Alastair Natkiel plays Marcus. For theatre, his work includes Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre), Strangers on a Train (Gielgud Theatre),Shrek the Musical (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Go Between (Trafalgar Studios), After the Blue (Jermyn Street Theatre), and Closer than Ever, Early Birds and Our Boys(Edinburgh Fringe). For television, his work includes Line of Duty and The Marchioness Disaster; and for film, Mad to be Normal and The Innocent.

 Faith Omole plays Joy. Her theatre work includes An Ideal Husband (Classic Spring Theatre Company at the Vaudeville Theatre), Jack and the Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith), Bushmeat (HighTide), Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange) and Walk in the Light (National Theatre). For television, her work includes Endeavour; and for film, Dumpee and He Loves Me.

 Deborah Tracey plays Grace.  Her theatre work includes Red5, Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles), Fever (Birmingham Rep), A Mad World My Masters(RSC), The Last Women (Belgrade Theatre Coventry), as well as writing and performing in her own work Death of a Beauty Saleswoman and Fades, Braids and Keeping It Real. Her television work includes Obsession and Fee Fi Fo… Yum; and for film, Absolutely Fabulous and Patient Zero.

Rachael Wooding returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Rose – she previously appeared in A Chorus Line and My Father’s Son. For theatre her work includes Fat Friends the Musical, Wonderland, Evita, Footloose (UK tours), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Street of Dreams (Manchester Arena), Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre), Bright Lights, Big City (Hoxton Hall), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre), Saturday Night Fever (Apollo Theatre) and Fame (Aldwych Theatre). For television, her work includesGirlfriends; and she was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016.

Alex Young returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Poppy – she previously appeared in Show Boat (also New London Theatre) and Anything Goes (also UK tour). Her other theatre work includes Me and My Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), Follies (National Theatre), Carousel (ENO), Promises Promises (Southwark Playhouse), Bette Midler and Me (The Gilded Balloon), I Can’t Sing (London Palladium) and High Society (UK tour).

Robert Hastie’s recent productions as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The York Realist (co-production with the Donmar Warehouse – Evening Standard Theatre Award nomination for Best Director), The Wizard of OzOf Kith and Kin (co-production with Bush Theatre) and Julius Caesar. Previous directing credits include Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Manchester), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof(Theatr Clwyd). As an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse, his work includes My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot (Donmar Warehouse/West End – Best Newcomer nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Best Revival nomination at the Olivier Awards) and Splendour by Abi Morgan. His other directing credits include Carthage and Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Sunburst (Holborn Grange Hotel), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre) and A Breakfast of Eels (Print Room).

Casting update for Sheffield Theatres’ Autumn Season

A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie today announced the full cast for the world première of Chris Bush’s Steel, and his major new revival of William Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For SteelRebecca Frecknall directs Nigel Betts (Ian/Dai) and Rebecca Scroggs (Vanessa/Josie). The production opens on 17 September, with previews from 13 September, and runs until 6 October.

For A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hastie directs Patricia Allison (Hermia), Donna Berlin (Starveling), Phil Cheadle (Theseus/Oberon), Pandora Colin (Titania/Hippolyta), Bobby Delaney(Puck/Philostrate), Liam Gerrard (Snout), Rebecca Jayne-Davies (First Fairy), Toheeb Jimoh (Demetrius), Lorne MacFadyen (Lysander), Evelyn Miller (Helena), Francesca Mills(Snug), Sophia Nomvete (Quince), Daniel Rigby (Bottom), and Samuel Townsend (Flute). The production opens on 2 October, with previews from 28 September, and runs until 20 October.

 STUDIO

A Sheffield Theatres Production

World Première

STEEL

By Chris Bush

13 September – 6 October 2018

Press night: 17 September, 7.45pm

Cast: Nigel Betts (Ian/Dai) and Rebecca Scroggs (Vanessa/Josie)

Director: Rebecca Frecknall; Designer: Madeleine Girling; Lighting Designer: Jack Knowles

Sound Designer and Composer: James Frewer; Casting: Anna Cooper CDG

‘I am the Labour Party candidate. Now ask me why.’

 ‘Why?’

 ‘Because I am the best damn person for the job.’

 The top candidate without question, Vanessa was made to be Mayor. Thirty years prior, Josie just wants things to change and seeks a seat on the local council. This witty new play by Chris Bush explores the last three decades of women in politics, asking what’s changed and what still must.

Chris Bush is a Sheffield-born playwright, lyricist and theatre-maker. She is currently a resident artist for Sheffield Theatres, where her previous credits include What We Wished For, A Dream and The Sheffield Mysteries. Her upcoming work includes Pericles (National Theatre) and The Changing Room (NT Connections 2018). Other work includes The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatre Clwyd), A Declaration from the People (National Theatre), Larksong (New Vic Theatre), Cards on the Table (Royal Exchange Manchester), ODD (Royal & Derngate concert performance), Sleight & Hand (Summerhall and BBC Arts), TONY! The Blair Musical (York Theatre Royal and UK tour), Poking the Bear (Theatre503) and Wolf (National Theatre Studio reading).

Nigel Betts plays Ian/Dai. Theatre credits include Albion (Almeida Theatre), Three Days in the Country (National Theatre), Wonderland (Hampstead Theatre), Pastoral (Soho Theatre), One Man Two Guv’nors, War Horse (National Theatre and West End), The 39 Steps, Up’n’Under, Henry IVAs You Like It (West End), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), and A New Way to Please You, Sejanus: His Fall, Thomas More, Night of the Soul (RSC). For television, his recent work includes Trollied, Scarborough, Outlander, Little Boy Blue, Bliss, Bounty Hunters, Death in Paradise, Boy Meets Girl, Vera, Class, The Coroner, DCI Banks, New Tricks, You, Me & Them, Doctor Who, Waterloo Road and Downton Abbey; and for film, David Copperfield, Undercliffe, The Christmas Candle, Lipstikka, Desert Flower, Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, In Your Dreams, Chain Male, Cheeky, Harold the Amazing Contortionist Pig, Keen Eddie andThunderpants.

 Rebecca Scroggs returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Vanessa/Josie – she previously appeared in One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Eclipse Theatre co-production). For theatre, her other work includes What Shadows (Birmingham Rep), The Suicide, Danton’s Death (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Filter Theatre/Lyric Hammersmith), Dream Story(Gate Theatre), Doris Day, Fatal Light (Clean Break) and Detaining Justice (Tricycle Theatre). For television, her work includes Flack, as series regular Tosh in EastEndersPlenty More Fishand Death in Paradise.

Rebecca Frecknall directs. As director, her credits include Summer and Smoke (Almeida Theatre – transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre in November), Educating Rita (Durham Gala), JulieWhat Are They Like? and Idomeneus (Northern Stage), You, Me, and Everything Else (Soho Theatre and UK tour), Aftermath (Royal & Derngate), A Streetcar Named Desire Parallel Production (Young Vic), Something Cloudy, Something Clear (Greenwich Theatre) and Bassett (New Diorama). As Associate Director, her credits include Ink (Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre) and James and the Giant Peach (Northern Stage). Frecknall received a Jerwood Assistant Director Bursary to train at the Young Vic and was the 2012 recipient of the National Theatre Studio’s Resident Director Bursary. In 2015 she won the acclaimed Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme Bursary and was Resident Director at Northern Stage for 18 months.

 

Crucible

A Sheffield Theatres Production

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

By William Shakespeare

28 September – 20 October 2018

Press night: 2 October, 7pm

Cast: Patricia Allison (Hermia), Donna Berlin (Starveling), Phil Cheadle (Theseus/Oberon),

Pandora Colin (Titania/Hippolyta), Bobby Delaney (Puck/Philostrate), Liam Gerrard (Snout),

Rebecca Jayne-Davies (First Fairy), Toheeb Jimoh (Demetrius), Lorne MacFadyen (Lysander), Evelyn Miller (Helena), Francesca Mills (Snug), Sophia Nomvete (Quince), Daniel Rigby (Bottom), Samuel Townsend (Flute)

Director: Robert Hastie; Designer: Chiara Stephenson

Lighting Designer: Richard Howell; Composer: Dan Gillespie Sells; Sound Designer: Nick Greenhill

Casting Director: Robert Sterne CDG

The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Desperate lovers, squabbling supernaturals and a hapless troupe of amateur actors get tangled in this joyous tale of enchantment and transformation.

Full of magic and mayhem, this is Shakespeare’s most celebrated comedy, reimagined by Artistic Director, Robert Hastie with co-creator of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Dan Gillespie Sells, in a fresh production brimming with musicality.

Patricia Allison plays Hermia. Her theatre credits include The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Our Town (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Henry V(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)For television, her work includes Sex Education, Moving On, Les Miserables and Thanks for the Memories.

Donna Berlin returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Starveling – she previously appeared in Of Kith and Kin (also Bush Theatre). Her other theatre The Chalk Garden (Chichester Festival Theatre), Great Apes (Arcola Theatre), Anna KareninaRolling Stone (Royal Exchange Manchester/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Blood Wedding,  The Bacchae (Royal & Derngate), Elmina’s Kitchen (UK tour, Garrick Theatre) and Puffins (Nabokov/Southwark Playhouse).For television, her work includes Requiem, Game Face, Todd Margaret, New Tricks, Extras, Lead Balloonand Beautiful People; and for film In Darkness, MonochromeDinner with My Sisters and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Also a choreographer and movement director, where her credits includeWaves and Attempts on Her Life (National Theatre).

Phil Cheadle plays Theseus/Oberon. His theatre credits include Table (New Vic Theatre), The Cardinal (Southwark Playhouse), Breaking The Code (Royal Exchange Theatre), Henry V(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Chichester Festival Theatre), Mrs. Affleck (National Theatre), Henry IVBedlam (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Changeling(UK tour/Barbican), Neighbourhood Watch (Stephen Joseph Theatre/Tricycle Theatre/59E59 Theater), Dear Uncle (Stephen Joseph Theatre) and Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun,Variation on a Theme (Finborough Theatre). His television credits include New Worlds; and for film, John Carter of Mars.

Pandora Colin returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Titania/Hippolyta – she previously appeared in The Country Wife and Julius Caesar. Her theatre credits include Top Trumps, Natural Selection (Theatre503), The Vote (Donmar Warehouse), Cornelius – Brits off Broadway (59E59 Theater), The Dark Earth and The Light SkyThe House of Bernarda Alba (Almeida Theatre), After The Dance, Every Good Boy Deserves FavourSome Trace of Her, Women of Troy (National Theatre), Stephen and The Sexy Partridge (Trafalgar Studios), If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (Bush Theatre), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), Kindertransport, The Kiss (Hampstead Theatre) and Mariana Pineda (Arcola Theatre). Her television credits includeDeliciousPenny DreadfulNY-LON; and for film, Film Stars Don’t Die in LiverpoolThe Lady in the VanI Give It a YearA Bunch of Amateurs and Run, Fat Boy, Run.

Bobby Delaney plays Puck/Philostrate. His theatre credits include Annie (Piccadilly Theatre),  The Witches, Miss Craig (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Henry V (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Calamity Jane (The Watermill Theatre and UK tour), Spamalot  (Harold Pinter Theatre), The History Boys (Chichester Festival Theatre), Oh What a Lovely War (Haymarket, Basingstoke), All’s Well that Ends Well (National Theatre) and A Taste of Honey (Salisbury Playhouse).

Liam Gerrard plays Snout. His theatre credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal Lyceum Theatre), Robin Hood and Marian (New Vic Theatre), Symphony (Soho Theatre/Nabokov), The Life and Times of Mitchell and Kenyon (Oldham Coliseum Theatre/The Dukes), Miss Julie (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Tempest (Watford Palace Theatre),Soul Man (Stephen Joseph Theatre/New Vic Theatre), Tom’s Midnight GardenThe Maid of Buttermere‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Theatre by the Lake) and Romeo and Juliet(Northern Broadsides).

Rebecca Jayne-Davies plays First Fairy. Her theatre credits include Pinocchio (National Theatre), Half a Sixpence (Noël Coward Theatre), Legally BlondeThe Water Babies (Curve), Kiss Me Kate (Théâtre du Châtelet), Anything Goes (UK tour), Jersey Boys (Piccadilly Theatre) and West Side Story (RSC).

Toheeb Jimoh plays Demetrius. He recently graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His other theatre work includes Talk to the Dog (T’rah and Chips Theatre Ensemble).

Lorne MacFadyen plays Lysander. His theatre work includes Certain Young Men (National Theatre), Five Finger Exercise (The Print Room), The Country Wife, The Merchant of Venice, A View from the Bridge, Antigone (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Singer (National Theatre of Scotland). For television, his work includes Tina and Bobby, Grantchester, The Level, West Skerra Light and Shetland: Blue Lighting; and for film Outlaw King, The Little Stranger, The Angel’s Share and Exchange and Mart.

Evelyn Miller plays Helena. Her theatre credits include The Taming Of The ShrewRichard III (international tour), Jane Eyre (National Theatre and UK tour), Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry VThe Famous Victories of Henry V (RSC), Romeo and Juliet (Orange Tree Theatre), Peer Gynt (Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra), The Little Prince (Royal Opera House) and Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic).

Francesca Mills plays Snug. Her theatre credits include Pity (Royal Court Theatre), The Two Noble Kinsman (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Tale of Two Cities (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Cyrano de Bergerac (Northern Broadsides/UK tour), A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre/Complicité), The Government Inspector (Birmingham Rep/UK tour) and See How They Run (UK tour). Her television credits include Harlots; and for film, Zoolander 2.

Sophia Nomvete returns to Sheffield Theatre to play Quince – she previously appeared in The Wizard of Oz. Her other theatre credits include Miss LittlewoodVice Versa (RSC), Wind in the Willows the Musical (Plymouth, Lowry Salford and Mayflower, Southampton), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse, Northern Stage, Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep), The Heresy of LoveAs You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Pyjama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre), Ragtime, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), England People Very Nice (National Theatre) and Our House (Cambridge Theatre). For television, her work includes The Tempest.

Daniel Rigby returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Bottom – he previously played David Frost in Frost/Nixon. For theatre, his other work includes Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Breaking the Code (Manchester Royal Exchange), Holes (Arcola Theatre and Edinburgh Festival), One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre and Broadway) and Ninagawa’s Hamlet (Barbican). His television work includes Flowers, Plebs, Gap Year, Sick Note, Jericho, Black Mirror, Big School, Cardinal Burns, Eric and Ernie (BAFTA Television Award for Best Actor) and The Street; and for film, Flyboys.

Samuel Townsend plays Flute. For theatre his work includes Harold And Maude (Charing Cross Theatre), 84 Charing Cross Road (Cambridge Arts Theatre / Salisbury Playhouse), The Importance of Being Earnest (MAC, Belfast) and As You Like It (Southwark Playhouse). For television his work includes The Royals and The Giblet Boys.

Robert Hastie’s recent productions as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres include The York Realist (co-production with the Donmar Warehouse), The Wizard of OzOf Kith and Kin (co-production with Bush Theatre) and Julius Caesar. Previous directing credits include Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Manchester), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clwyd). As an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse, his work includes My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot (Donmar Warehouse/West End – Best Newcomer nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Best Revival nomination at the Olivier Awards) and Splendour by Abi Morgan. His other directing credits include Carthage and Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Sunburst (Holborn Grange Hotel), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre) and A Breakfast of Eels (Print Room).

Dan Gillespie Sells returns to Sheffield Theatres following the critically acclaimed musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, for which he composed the music, which transferred to the West End in 2017. The production received three WhatsOnStage awards and two UK Theatre awards, including Best New Musical at both, and Gillespie Sells won Best Composer at The Stage Debut Awards. He is best known for being the lead vocalist and principal songwriter in The Feeling. Their debut album, Twelve Stops and Home sold over a million copies, whilst their second album, Join With Us reached the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts. The band’s fifth album was released in March 2016. His other theatre credits include The Bad, The Sad, and The Broken Hearted (Soho Theatre and The Steve Allen Theatre Los Angeles – currently being developed as a series in America), 3WithD (London Coliseum and Stuttgart Ballet, a collaboration with Javier De Frutos and Ed Watson), and for television, the theme music to BBC’s Beautiful People. Gillespie Sells was the recipient of the 2015 Stonewall Award for Entertainer of the Decade for his work in the LGBT community and the 2007 Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year.

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

Twitter: @crucibletheatre @SheffieldLyceum

Theatre503 announces panelists and cast for The Words Are Coming Now

The Words Are Coming Now
The Words Are Coming Now

The Words Are Coming Now

Theatre503’s The Words Are Coming Now is a series of commissioned plays exploring Consent, Power and the New Normal. With the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements sweeping the entertainment industry and further afield, Theatre503 responds with ten urgent new plays by playwrights including April de Angelis, Richard Bean, Chris Bush and Dipika Guha, alongside new writers.

After each performance a post-show discussion explores how we move the conversation forward. Curated by The Stage journalist Natasha Tripney, panels include: Erica Whyman (Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Chair of Theatre503), Rebecca Crookshank (writer and visual artist), Kate Maltby (critic, columnist and scholar), Dr Julian Bird (consultant pyschiatrist), Mel Kenyon(literary agent), April De Angelis (writer), Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (writer), Dr Jami Rogers (academic and creator of the British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database), Alice Saville (Editor, Exeunt), Chris Bush (writer) and Alistair Smith (Editor, The Stage).

An ensemble cast will perform across the ten plays presented. The cast includes Jason Barnett (Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre), Amy Blair (Three Sisters, Lyric Theatre Belfast), Sara Caltieri (Coronation Street), James Dutton (The Wipers Times, West End and UK Tour), Deshaye Gayle (The Incident (Dare To Dream), Arcola Theatre), Will Norris (In Event Of Moone Disaster, Theatre503), Kerry Peers (Pride and Prejudice, Nottingham Playhouse), Dilek Rose (Twist, Theatre Centre) and Nicole Sawyerr (Boom, Theatre503).

The full line-up of writers is: April de Angelis, Richard Bean, Chris Bush, Dipika Guha,

Fergus Church, Amy Evans, Kevin Forde, Patrick Russell Elise Van Lil and Deidan Williams. The plays will be directed by Theatre503 Artistic Director Lisa Spirling, Ailin Conant, Chino Odimba, and Cressida Brown.

The Words Are Coming Now builds on the success of Theatre503’s Top Trumps festival in January 2017, which responded to President Trump’s election with plays by writers including Hassan Abdulrazzak, Caryl Churchill, Neil LaBute and Roy Williams.

LISTINGS DETAILS

Dates + times:          Thursday 25 January at 7.30pm; Friday 26 + Saturday 27 January at 3pm + 7.30pm

Tickets: £17 / £12 concessions

Box office: 020 7978 7040 / www.theatre503.com