Sheffield Crucible theatre return for Victoria Wood's first stage comedy

A stage comedy by the brilliant Victoria Wood is being brought back to the Crucible, where it was first performed 43 years ago.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 4:45 pm

Talent which runs from June 30 to July 24 at the Crucible, was inspired by Victoria’s own experiences on the talent show circuit, only four years after she won the ATV show New Faces.

A TV adaptation of the play made for Granada starred Victoria and long-time collaborator Julie Walters.Originally scheduled to be seen in Sheffield last summer, 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. Julie, aged 24, dreams of stardom to escape from her dead-end job and the the drudgery of living with her mother. Her less worldly-wise friend Maureen has come along to offer support.

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The cast of Victoria Wood comedy Talent

Talent is a play with music about friendship, ambition and the lower rungs of the showbiz ladder.

Lucie Shorthouse takes the lead role, having created the part of Pritti Pasha in the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Crucible, transferring with the show to London’s West End.

The rest of the cast are Richard Cant, Daniel Crossley, Jamie-Rose Monk, Jonathon Ojinnaka and James Quinn.

Talent at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in June and July

Richard, Daniel and James have all appeared on stage at the Crucible before.

The director is Paul Foster, who also directed Crucible musical Kiss Me, Kate in 2018.

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, said: “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’s missed that feeling of togetherness you get from sharing laughter and music at a live performance.”