Sheffield icons Crucible and Richard Hawley tell stories of Park Hill in new musical

The much-awaited musical telling the story of Sheffield's Park Hill flats thorough the music of city rock star Richard Hawley was launched at the Crucible last night.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 22:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 22:37 pm
Standing at the Sky's Edge launch at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Pictured is Richard Hawley. Picture: Chris Etchells

The director of Standing at the Sky’s Edge, Rob Hastie, said: “Park Hill has been facing the theatre since it was built.

“I feel like it's always been asking for its story to be told.

Standing at the Sky's Edge, showing at Sheffield Theatres.

“Standing at the Sky's Edge brings together three Sheffield icons – Park Hill, Richard Hawley and the Crucible stage.

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“It couldn't get any more Sheffield. It's the story of generations of people brought up in that building, and by extension extension the people who've lived there and made it.”

The show, using more than 15 of Richard's songs, including some that he's written especially for the show, has been created by another Sheffield writer, playwright Chris Bush.

The cast, including Doncaster-born West End musical theatre actress Rachael Wooding, also includes actors from Sheffield People's Theatre.

Standing at the Sky's Edge launch at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Pictured are writer Chris Bush, Richard Hawley, director Rob Hastie and BBC Radio Sheffield's Paulette Edwards. Picture: Chris Etchells

Richard Hawley was at the launch event for the media and supporters of the show in the Crucible foyer, with Park Hill flats as a backdrop seen through the theatre windows.

Cast members Maimuna Memon sang Open Up Your Door and Rachael performed After the Rain. Both were spine-tingling moments.

Chris said that the story spanned three storylines, with a young steelworker and his family moving into the new flats in 1960, a refugee family making Park Hill their home in 1988 and a young woman coming to the city from London who moves into the new flats modernised by Urban Splash.

Richard, who grew up in the Pitsmoor and Firth Park area, the setting was a way of telling the story of all our lives since the war.

Standing at the Sky's Edge launch at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Pictured is writer Chris Bush and Richard Hawley. Picture: Chris Etchells

He said he’s from a family of steelworkers but “Sheffield’s story is a much bigger story than that. 

“We’re telling our British story with using Park Hill as an aperture, an eye on the things within.”

He added: “When I first read the script, I was blown away.”

Richard said he has given permission for his songs to be used in any way the creative team wants.

Standing at the Sky's Edge launch at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Pictured is Richard Hawley. Picture: Chris Etchells

He said of being involved with the show. “It’s an adventure. If you don’t embrace new things you just stagnate.”

Standing at the Sky’s Edge runs from March 15 o April 6. Book tickets at the Crucible box office or online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk