New shows announced for Sheffield’s Lyceum and Crucible theatres after closure: ‘We’ve been knocked down but we get back up again’

New shows have been announced for the planned reopening of Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre in spring after more than a year of closure – as well as a fresh programme of productions for the city’s Crucible venue which is shut because of Tier 3 restrictions.

By Richard Blackledge
Thursday, 10th December 2020, 3:00 pm

The Lyceum, where a popular annual Christmas pantomime is normally held, has been closed since just before the first national lockdown began in March, while the Crucible managed to reopen only briefly in October with social distancing measures in place before the country was subjected to strict anti-coronavirus curbs once again.

However, Sheffield Theatres – the company which runs both buildings – has now revealed its plans for 2021.

The Lyceum’s season begins on April 19 with the mystery Looking Dead Good, which stars Adam Woodyatt, best known as EastEnders’ Ian Beale. This will be followed in May by prehistoric adventure Dinosaur World: Live, while touring productions of musicals Chicago, Waitress, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sister Act, The Commitments and Mamma Mia! are also lined up.

Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder is part of the Lyceum schedule too, along with appearances from comedian Al Murray in his Pub Landlord guise and the illusionist Derren Brown.

Meanwhile the Crucible’s revised Together Season continues in February with The Band Plays On, written by Chris Bush and described as ‘a modern history of Sheffield through a celebration of its music’. Bush previously wrote the award-winning Standing At The Sky’s Edge, which featured music by Richard Hawley.

A festival of work co-curated by Sheffield residents and artists called The Open Submissions Programme runs from February 22 to March 6, and the rescheduled Operation Crucible by Kieran Knowles returns in March after selling out in 2016.

The regional premiere of Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone is happening in March too, as well as a production of psychological drama Miss Julie. John Rwothomack’s Far Gone, the tale of a young boy’s journey from childhood innocence to child soldier, is also rescheduled and returns in April.

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Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Robert Hastie said ‘announcing new shows for 2021 feels like the best way to end 2020’.

"We’ve been knocked down – reopening the Crucible Theatre and the Together Season in October only to close again after a few performances was a blow – but we get back up again. And we’ll keep programming and making work, staying ambitious, staying hopeful and doing what we’re here for,” he said.

Dan Bates, the company's chief executive, said it was ‘so exciting’ to be looking ahead to a new Lyceum season.

"It was heartbreaking to see so many brilliant productions cancelled or postponed, but we are incredibly grateful for the support and patience of our audiences,” he said.

The Together Season has been supported by the Victoria Wood Foundation. Wood, who died in 2016, penned her first play for the Crucible in 1978 before going on to a career as a highly successful comedian, writer and actor.

See to book tickets.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.