Sheffield celebrates its tag as the home of arts and culture with success of Standing at the Sky’s Edge and exhibitions

Sheffield is once again a beating heart of arts and culture as thousands take in shows and exhibitions across the city.

Standing at the Sky’s Edge – a celebration of Sheffield, featuring music by Richard Hawley and a script by Chris Bush, both born in the city – comes to an end at the Crucible Theatre on Saturday, as does the spectacular ‘Mausoleum of the Giants’ sculpture exhibition by artist Phlegm, which has transformed Eye Witness Works.

And the ongoing display of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci is well on track to becoming the most popular exhibition ever at the Millennium Gallery.

Kim Streets, chief executive of Museums Sheffield which operates the gallery, said the latest attendance figures showed almost 70,000 people had seen the exhibition, called A Life In Drawing, which runs until May 6. It features works from the Queen’s private collection and is one of several shows happening around the country.

Visitors queue at the Phlegm exhibition at Eye Witness Works. Picture by Kimberley Mogg.

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    She said: “I think the success of the three shows says there is some really quality stuff here in Sheffield and there’s a real sense of people wanting to see great stuff too.

    “There is a fantastic appetite for it and it’s getting national and international recognition.”

    Visitors faced queues of around three hours to catch a glimpse of Phlegm’s sculptures.

    The exhibition is the latest solo show by the acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator, who is well-known as the ‘Sheffield Banksy’ for shunning publicity, preferring instead to remain anonymous.

    The Mausoleum of the Giants exhibition at the Eye Witness Works. Picture: Chris Etchells

    Ms Streets said: “I think all three have fitted in well with each other. I did a bit of volunteering at the Phlegm exhibition and quite a lot of people have been to that as well as the Da Vinci exhibition.

    “I spoke to one couple who had travelled from Bologna to be at the Phlegm exhibition and they were also going to look at the Da Vinci exhibition.”

    Eye Witness Works, a former cutlery works on Milton Street, has welcomed more than 6,000 people for Mausoleum of the Giants.

    Adam Higgins, co-founder of Manchester-based Capital and Centric which is redeveloping the building to create luxury apartments, said: “It’s been amazing that thousands of people have been able to experience the building before we get started. The exhibition is epic and we’re made up that we’ve been able to be part of it.”

    Louis Gaunt, Alastair Natkiel, Deborah Tracey, Damian Myerscough, Nicole Deon, Fela Lufadeju and Johanne Murdock in Standing at the Sky's Edge, Crucible Theatre.

    One business hoping to make the most of the cultural buzz around the city is the Local Theatre, which will open on Snig Hill on Saturday. The theatre said it wanted to showcase ‘emerging artists and northern talent’.

    And, following the West End success of Sheffield Theatres musicial Everybody’s Talking about Jamie, it will return to the city at the Lyceum in February 2020 as part of a tour.

    Construction work to transform Eye Witness Works into 97 loft apartments and townhouses, along with a 900 sq ft café-bar and private courtyards is due to get under way this month and be complete by the end of 2020.

    Kirsty Hamilton, the head of programme at Museums Sheffield, at the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition. Picture: Chris Etchells