Controverisal play to be performed in Sheffield

Have your say

A controversial play is to be performed in Sheffield this weekend - for the first time in 100 years.

Joseph Fox’s play was uncovered by University of Sheffield graduate Dr Hilary Jane Wilson as part of her research into Sheffield’s radical theatre history.

The play ‘The Union Wheel’ is set against the backdrop of the so-called Sheffield Outrages of the 1860s, involving a struggle between the Saw Grinder’s Union and non-unionised labour, culminating in the murder of a non-union worker.

Eventually a government board of enquiry was set up to investigate the grinding trade and its working conditions.

It was first performed to huge controversy in Sheffield’s Theatre Royal in 1870.

The rehearsed reading is in honour of Dr Wilson’s work. She died in June 2014, shortly after graduating with a PhD.

The event will begin with a short introduction to the play, and will be followed by a panel and audience discussion.

It is to be held at the University of Sheffield’s Theatre Workshop, Shearwood Road, on Saturday.

To order tickets visit