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  • Matt Codd

“Tonight The Streets Are Ours”: Standing at the Sky’s Edge Wins Big at The Olivier Awards

Photography: Johan Persson

The Olivier’s and Park Hill, Sheffield… Not two things that usually go together. Well, not until Sunday night. The incredible Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which tells the stories of 3 families over 3 generations in one flat at the iconic Park Hill estate, took home 2 of the most prestigious Olivier Awards on offer.

The musical, which is comprised of the music of one of Sheffield’s favourite sons in Richard Hawley, took home awards for Best Original Score or New Orchestrations for Richard Hawley and Tom Deering and the highest honour available, Best New Musical.

After winning the award for Best Original Score or New Orchestrations, Tom Deering and Richard Hawley took the stage with beautiful speeches. Hawley’s speech was particularly memorable much because of how long it was. Both paid tribute to the Crucible, the Cast and the city of Sheffield before paying tribute to the late Steve Mackey who Hawley grew up with and played with in Pulp. Surviving the entire Olivier Awards attempts to move on with the show, Hawley recalled a story of sharing a bathroom with Mackey in the most Richard Hawley way possible.

The cast were also there in attendance to put on an incredibly powerful and chill-inducing rendition of the show’s title track “Standing At The Sky’s Edge” in front of theatre royalty at renowned Royal Albert Hall. The performance was as brilliant as it was at home in the Crucible, even without the amazing set design and “I love you, will u marry me” sign that is now synonymous with the show and Sheffield alike.

Photography: Johan Persson

The Sheffield Theatres production was originally nominated for a total of 8 Olivier Awards including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Best Director, Set Design, Sound Design and Best Theatre Choreographer. Sheffield's finest were up against a stacked cast in all categories with My Neighbour Totoro, Tammy Faye and Oklahoma! also taking home awards.

Hot on the heels of Sunday’s successes, yesterday it was announced that Standing at the Sky’s Edge will be transferring to the West End. Opening at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in February 2024, it follows the success of other Sheffield Theatres productions Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Life of Pi.

Of the transfer to the West End, Hawley said: “In all honesty I never really thought this story would leave the inside of our minds but to see it blossom and grow from a heartfelt set of ideas exchanged in a Sheffield pub to sell out shows at the Crucible and National theatres every single night has been a very powerful experience. The drive, focus and determination to allow the voices and history of Park Hill to be heard at last by everyone involved has been equally mind blowing. This would’ve been more than enough for me to say the least…but the West End?…next you’ll be telling me Sheffield Wednesday are going up this season!”

Writer Chris Bush also added "For all its hyper-specificity, the last few months have cemented for us that these themes of home, of love, of fresh starts and second chances, are utterly universal. I'm absolutely thrilled that we'll get to introduce Park Hill to a whole new set of audiences in 2024."

Sunday was a proud day for Standing at the Sky’s Edge, Sheffield Theatres and the city of Sheffield as a whole and proved that despite efforts from certain areas, the North and Sheffield is still a driving force in creative industries and will be for a long time.

Photography: Johan Persson


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