Standing At The Sky’s Edge: Park Hill musical’s name in lights for opening night in Sheffield
A new musical inspired by Sheffield’s Park Hill estate will have its name beamed on to the flats themselves to mark the production’s official opening night tomorrow.
Urban Splash – the company that is redeveloping the Grade II* listed Brutalist complex – has commissioned city artist Kid Acne to create artwork for a light installation that will be projected onto the side of an unrenovated section of the building.
The piece will read ‘Standing At The Sky’s Edge’, the title of the show at the Crucible Theatre by musician Richard Hawley and playwright Chris Bush that charts the lives of a set of Park Hill residents from the 1960s, when the place was constructed, to the present day.
Described by the organisers as a ‘momentous spectacle’, it can be seen from 8.15pm to 10pm tomorrow, March 20, and will be visible to the city below. Spectators will be able to gather to view the installation on South Street.
Mark Latham, regeneration director of Urban Splash, said: “We wanted to celebrate this new musical and show Sheffield how proud we are of Park Hill so what better way than to use this amazing building as a backdrop for a huge light installation. We are absolutely thrilled with the result that is also testament to the talents of Kid Acne.
“We are looking forward to seeing this much-anticipated musical and wish Sheffield Theatres and the creative team every success.”
Standing at the Sky’s Edge is directed by Rob Hastie, the theatres’ artistic director. Previews have been held since Friday. Past residents of Park Hill, and people who live there today, were consulted to create a story that spans three generations.
Kid Acne – real name Ed Bradbury – said: "Ten years I painted a series of large, slogan murals up at Park Hill, which acted as a kind of conversation with the city. Such is the nature of street art, those pieces no longer exist. I've enjoyed going back to the site to work on a new project, which explores my typographic style in a different medium. I love how the lettering works with and against the structure of the architecture in equal measures".
He has painted large-scale murals and held exhibitions across the globe, from Los Angeles to Beijing, and his work is a familiar sight on walls and buildings around Sheffield. The artist, who occasionally releases hip-hop records, was honoured with a retrospective, Kill Your Darlings, at the Millennium Gallery in 2011 that attracted more than 50,000 visitors. He was born in Malawi, lived in the East Midlands and moved to Sheffield more than 20 years ago to study at Psalter Lane college.