Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, Talent tells the story of a young woman with dreams of showbiz glory.
It’s 1978; Bunters club is hosting its Friday Talent Night – the acts on the bill hope that it’s a stepping stone to New Faces or Opportunity Knocks. 24-year-old Julie dreams of stardom, escape from her dead-end job and the chance to leave the drudgery of living at home with her mother. Her less worldly-wise friend Maureen has come along to offer support.
Full of Victoria Wood’s unmatched wit and observation, Talent is a play with music about friendship, ambition and the lower rungs of the showbiz ladder.
Richard Cant returns to the Crucible after performing in Original Sin and The Country Wife, alongside Daniel Crossley, who is welcomed back, having featured in Me and My Girl and A Chorus Line. Jamie-Rose Monk makes her debut at the Crucible following a role in the National Theatre’s production of Dick Whittington and Jonathon Ojinnaka, known to audiences on screen in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, also makes his Crucible debut. James Quinn, formerly from the Sheffield Theatres’ production Democracy, is welcomed back. Lucie Shorthouse returns to Sheffield Theatres, having originated the role of Pritti Pasha in the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which subsequently transferred from Sheffield to London’s West End.
Directing the production is Paul Foster, whose most recent credits with Sheffield Theatres include Kiss Me, Kate, and Annie Get Your Gun.
Talent was written by Victoria Wood, the writer, director, actor and musician who created unforgettable works such as dinner ladies, Acorn Antiques and Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, the likes of which have since entered the canon of iconic British comedy and inspired countless other talents in the industry.
Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres anticipates the opening of the play at the Crucible: “Victoria Wood was - and remains - unrivalled in combining wit, heart and musical brilliance in her comedy, and Talent reminds us that as a playwright she was every bit as skilled creating characters and songs for the stage as she was for the screen.
“This was her debut play, which she wrote for Sheffield Theatres Studio in 1978 at the age of 25. It makes me proud of Sheffield’s long history of supporting emerging artists, which we continue today, and I’m excited to be bringing Talent back to the Crucible as we welcome audiences returning to live theatre. This play will be a delight for everyone who has missed that feeling of togetherness you get from sharing laughter and music at a live performance.”
Talent will run at the Crucible Theatre from Wednesday, June 30 to Saturday, July 24 2021, with the performance on Wednesday, July 7, set to be live-streamed and available to watch online.
Tickets for all productions listed can be booked online from Wednesday, May 5 for members and Wednesday, May 12, 2021, for non-members at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.