UK Theatre Award winner Standing at the Sky’s Edge transfers to National in 2021

20 Feb
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Staff
Standing at the Sky's Edge transfers to the National Theatre

After the success of its transfer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, still running in the West End, Sheffield Crucible will bring another award-winning musical premiere to London next year. Standing at the Sky’s Edge will transfer to the National Theatre’s Olivier in January 2021, following a return to Sheffield this autumn.

With a book by Sheffield playwright Chris Bush and music and lyrics by Sheffield musician Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky’s Edge premiered at the Crucible in March 2018 and won Best Musical Production at the 2019 UK Theatre Awards.

“Tonight the streets are ours”

In 1961, the first residents of the “concrete utopia” Park Hill estate in Sheffield were given the keys to their new homes. Standing at the Sky’s Edge tells the stories of three resident families over the next 50 years, in a heart-swelling, heart-breaking love song to the city of Sheffield.

The production is directed by Crucible artistic director Robert Hastie. The co-production with Sheffield Theatres is presented at the Olivier in association with Various Productions. Casting - and exact dates - for 2021 is still to be announced.


Richard Hawley is synonymous with his native city of Sheffield. Richard has released eight studio albums over the last 16 years with two being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. He is also a Brit nominee and received a South Bank award in 2007. Over the years Richard has become as well known for his guitar playing as his singing and has dueted with Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra and Shirley Bassey, whilst also having played with Arctic Monkeys, Elbow, Paul Weller, Manic Street Preachers and Pulp, the band he played guitar with for a number of years. Best known for his mix of classic songwriting, soothing vocal and northern grit realism, Richard is something of a unique artist in British popular music; being able to cross boundaries from one musical style to another whilst keeping intact his own strong identity.

Chris Bush is a Sheffield-born playwright, lyricist and theatremaker. She was previously a resident artist for Sheffield Theatres, where her credits include Steel, What We Wished For, A Dream and The Sheffield Mysteries. Her other work includes The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatre Clwyd), Pericles (National Theatre), The Changing Room (NT Connections 2018), A Declaration from the People (National Theatre), Larksong (New Vic Theatre), Cards on the Table (Royal Exchange Manchester), ODD (Royal & Derngate concert performance), Sleight & Hand (Summerhall and BBC Arts), TONY! The Blair Musical (York Theatre Royal and UK tour), Poking the Bear (Theatre503) and Wolf (National Theatre Studio reading).

Robert Hastie’s other productions as Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres include The York Realist (co-production with the Donmar Warehouse), The Wizard of Oz, Of Kith and Kin (co-production with Bush Theatre) and Julius Caesar. Previous directing credits include Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange Manchester), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clwyd). As an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse, his work includes My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot (Donmar Warehouse/West End – Best Newcomer nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Best Revival nomination at the Olivier Awards) and Splendour by Abi Morgan. His other directing credits include Carthage and Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun (Finborough Theatre), Sunburst (Holborn Grange Hotel), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre) and A Breakfast of Eels (Print Room).