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  • Jack Starr

Sheffield Theatres – What’s On in March

It’s an exciting time for Sheffield Theatres, with their home-grown musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge having just been nominated for eight Olivier Awards. Off the back of this massive critical acclaim, there are a whole host of new shows to see at the Crucible, the Playhouse, and the Lyceum Theatre.

Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, rewritten by Nina Segal, will play at the Crucible from Saturday the 11th of March to Saturday the 1st of April. A parable set in China, this new version brings the classic play up-to-date in celebration of its 80th anniversary. Shen Te, a young woman trying to survive in the bustle of a modern-day big city, finds herself rewarded with a large sum of money by the gods, and opens a tobacco shop with dreams of financial stability – only to be drawn into the schemes and deceit of the capitalist world. The Guardian, Telegraph and Times have selected this play as a Best Theatre Pick for 2023.

Wildfire Road by Eve Leigh will play at the Playhouse from Saturday the 4th to Saturday the 18th. Set aboard a plane headed to Tokyo, this play sees a group of passengers – ‘honeymooners, singletons and middle-managers’ – caught in the midst of a hijacking, while a wildfire burns below. With nowhere to land, and the hijacker’s motives a mystery, this brand new ‘red-hot’ production promises mystery and thrills.

Also at the Playhouse, CommuniTree is a performance devised by Launchpad, Sheffield Theatres’ project for adults with learning disabilities and/or Autism to produce their own shows – writing, devising, and performing. This year’s new play is set in 2073, fifty years from now, amidst environmental catastrophe, where a sole tree has grown and adapted to its new environment, despite all odds. The neighbours in this community must come together to protect the tree, or face losing it forever.

At the Lyceum, The Way Old Friends Do is a comedy written by Ian Hallard and directed by Mark Gatiss, of Doctor Who and Sherlock fame. It follows the story of two childhood friends who once came out to each other – one as gay, and the other as a superfan of ABBA. After meeting by chance thirty years later, they decide to form an ABBA tribute band, in drag. Described as ‘simultaneously tender and laugh-out-loud funny’, this show boasts a wide cast of talent from both the stage and screen. It runs from Tuesday the 7th to Saturday the 11th.

Lyceum will also host two performances from the English Touring Opera: Giulio Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, on Monday the 13th and Tuesday the 14th respectively. Handel’s Cesare is an intense drama, following Julius Caesar’s conquest of Egypt and his uneasy romance with Cleopatra. It features music by the Old Street Band, conducted by Sergey Rybin, who specialise in period instruments. Borgia is a Donizetti opera, a tragedy about a 16th-century aristocrat unfairly remembered in history as a femme fatale – this new production seeks to offer another side to the story.

Adapted from the CBeebies children’s series, Hey Duggee – The Live Theatre Show plays at the Lyceum from Thursday the 16th to Saturday the 18th. The first tour ever for the children’s mascot, this show promises a vibrant interactive production with music and puppetry. Hey Duggee has been awarded six BAFTAs and multiple Emmy awards

The Lyceum will host Northern Ballet’s The Great Gatsby, a ballet adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel. Set in the 1920s jazz age at Jay Gatsby’s mansion in Long Island, it is a tale of romance and obsession set amidst the rambunctious decadence of Gatsby’s day-and-night partying. Adapted to the stage by choreographer David Nixon CBE and composer Richard Rodney Bennett CBE, it will play from Tuesday the 21st to Saturday the 25th.

Finally, fan-favourite musical Kinky Boots will play at the Lyceum from Tuesday the 28th of March to Saturday the 1st of April. Based on the 2005 British film, this production was adapted to Broadway by actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein, with original music and lyrics by ‘80s superstar Cyndi Lauper. Inspired by a true story, it follows a young man who inherits his father’s failing small-town shoe factory – but finds unlikely inspiration from a glamorous drag queen, who helps him turn the business around. A ‘spectacular’ musical, you can expect ‘singing, dancing, laughter and fabulous heels’.

Don’t forget – if you’re aged 16-26, you can take advantage of Sheffield Theatres’ Live for Five deal, where you can get tickets for only £5 for most of their shows, subject to availability.


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