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  • Grace Sansom

Standing at the Sky’s Edge: ‘Official’ Made in Sheffield musical has opened in the West End

Standing at the Sky's Edge, the sell-out, stand-out, rave-about musical has officially opened at the beautifully prestigious Gillian Lynne Theatre, after becoming the first theatre production EVER to be awarded the Made in Sheffield Mark.

The iconic, poignant, and multi-award-winning musical debuted in 2019 at our beloved Crucible, and we haven’t had it off our minds since. Chris Bush’s stellar writing transcended dramatical storytelling and pierced through the hearts of audience members. With Richard Hawley’s rich romantic lyricism and Rob Hastie’s delightfully electric direction, the new musical cemented itself as one of the greats. Even back then, it had all the ingredients of an inevitable West End treat: heart, soul, story, and hope.

It returned to its Crucible home in 2022 to a gloriously sold-out run, before travelling down south for a sparkling and coveted stint at our country’s National Theatre. The past five years have been one of turmoil for the theatre industry, as venues and productions have faced mass socioeconomic uncertainty and funding pullouts. The essential magic of Standing at the Sky’s Edge has united so many in the industry; these may be difficult years but this is a story that must be told, and one we all see ourselves in. It’s ‘Standing’ the test of time, and it continues to sell out, receive standing ovations, and shed a deserved spotlight onto one of Sheffield’s most well-known landmarks: the Park Hill Estate and its localised symbolism through years of national change.

The musical may be rich in accolades, but is the Made in Sheffield mark the best yet? We think so! It’s the first piece of theatre ever to be awarded the stamp, meaning the shape and story of our city will be remembered wherever it  is performed. This one’s ours.

Richard Hawley and Charles Turner (Master Cutler and Chairman of Made in Sheffield)

Nik Hamilton, from Sheffield City Council and Director of Made in Sheffield, said: “Awarding the Made in Sheffield Mark to the musical, Standing at the Sky’s Edge, seemed like a natural thing to do. With so many parts of its creation rooted in the city, it made sense. Plus, Sheffield is a city of makers and full of creativity, whether in the arts or physical products, so what better vehicle – a West End play – to showcase this.”

Standing at the Sky’s Edge is a glorious production that tenderly, but at points brutally, reveals the history of modern Britain through the important stories of Park Hill’s residents. It’s not a musical rooted in the fantastical or the other-worldly, it’s one rooted in community, spirit, gentrification, love, and unity. And the songs are rather catchy too.

If you can’t tell, we highly recommend it… If you’re yet to experience it, get yourself on the ‘Midnight Train’ down to London (if it’s not delayed) and show the West End what it means to be Made in Sheffield. 


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