Sheffield Theatres Announce 50th Anniversary Season

Sheffield Theatres Announce 50th Anniversary Season

09 November 2021

Sheffield Theatres have announced their landmark 50th anniversary season, including an ambitious trilogy of plays and the much anticipated return of Standing at the Sky's Edge, amongst many more exciting productions.

Tickets for all the newly announced shows will be going on sale to Centre Stage Members at 10am on Saturday 20 November 2021 and on general sale to the public at 10am on Saturday 27 November 2021.

Robert HastieArtistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, said: “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.

"Anna Karenina, directed by Anthony Lau, kicks off the year in style with a powerful, playful new production of Helen Edmundson’s ground-breaking adaptation.

"The Crucible season continues with Steve Waters’ The Contingency Plan. First staged in 2009, this double bill was widely celebrated as theatre’s most successful attempt to date to grapple with mounting concern about climate change. Today, with the global emergency brought ever more sharply into focus, Steve updates the searing Whitehall thriller Resilience and the touching family drama On the Beach, to make this revival a compelling, up-to-the-minute response to the greatest challenge of our time. Caroline Steinbeis and Chelsea Walker bring these fearless, funny, frightening plays to the stage.

"Opening the Studio season is Human Nurture by Ryan Calais Cameron, a brilliant writer whose new work explores the impact of racial injustice on two young men brought up as brothers. We’re delighted to be working with Rob Watt and the team at Theatre Centre on a project that spends half of each week performing in local schools and half in our Studio.

"Next, we collaborate with John Rwothomack’s new theatre company Roots Mbili Theatre to present Far Gone. Already an established theatre maker, John was part of the inaugural cohort of The Bank, our talent development programme, and we’re honoured to be launching Roots Mbili’s inaugural production. Far Gone is the perfect vehicle to showcase John’s talents as a writer and performer.

"The centre of our year is a massive project that unifies all three of our spaces in one big celebratory theatrical experiment. In Rock Paper Scissors, the same company of actors performs concurrently in all three of our theatres. When you exit on one stage, you enter on another. Associate Artist Chris Bush has penned three brand new plays that can be watched on their own or as a trilogy. Taken together they are three competing visions of the future, a witty and heartfelt exploration of how to use the buildings the past has left us and remake the landscape of our northern cities. Rock Paper Scissors is without doubt the most ambitious project Sheffield Theatres has ever staged.

"In another big birthday, 2022 sees us celebrate 10 years of Sheffield People’s Theatre, our intergenerational theatre company. Over the years we’ve welcomed hundreds of members, of all ages, to perform on our stages. I’m thrilled that new writing powerhouse the Stockroom will help us to realise the next People’s Theatre production, How A City Can Save the World.

"Being part of Ramps on the Moon has been one of our proudest achievements over the last six years and it’s fantastic that we get to lead the next Ramps production in our birthday year. I’ll be directing Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, before the show heads out on tour, in what promises to be a joyous show with a big inclusive heart.

"The autumn continues with Dario Fo’s 20th century classic Accidental Death of An Anarchist in the Studio, which is adapted by award-winning stage and screen comedy writer Tom Basden. I’ve always wanted to bring this razor-sharp satire, Fo’s greatest play, to the Sheffield stage, and this will be its first UK production since the great master’s death in 2016, and the last new version to receive his blessing.

"It’s an essential part of Sheffield Theatres mission to be a platform and a launchpad for local talent. Following the success of 2021’s Together Season Festival, which dedicated the Crucible stage to the work of Sheffield’s artists and companies, we will once curate a programme of work drawn from open submissions to a volunteer panel of theatre makers and audiences.

"And we end our anniversary year with the triumphant return of Standing at the Sky's Edge, the epic musical by Chris Bush and Richard Hawley. We were overwhelmed with the reaction in March 2019, and so honoured by the way audiences have really taken the show to their hearts. The show, which takes us through sixty years of Britain’s recent history through the lives and stories of Sheffielders living in Park Hill, is coproduced with Various Productions and the National Theatre, and we’re delighted that following its run in the Crucible for Christmas 2022, it will play at the National’s Olivier Theatre in 2023.”

Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres, said: “I’m delighted that we are celebrating 50 years of theatre-making in Sheffield at the Crucible by announcing work on all three of our stages.

"After the last 20 months, it is so good to have something so special to celebrate. Not a day goes by when I don’t look at the majesty of the Crucible and think of the hundreds of workers across the city that paid for this incredible building. A building that has welcomed millions of people through the doors, where young talented actors had their debut, where snooker champions have been created and where theatre makers have cut their teeth. I’m excited about the next 50 years, about the next set of writers, directors, casts and creatives that are nurtured here.

"The Crucible is, and always has been, a true melting pot of ideas. As we celebrate the pride and passion of everyone who has made their mark so far, we look ahead to all that’s still to come, to everyone we’ll welcome and the theatre we’ll make together – we’re looking forward to what the future holds.”

For the full programe of shows and more info, visit: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk