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20 Tiny Plays About Sheffield – The Crucible Studio, Sheffield

Writer:20 writers of varying experience

Director :Andrew Loretto

Reviewer:Sheila Stratford

[rating:4 ]


twenty_tiny_plays20 Tiny Plays about Sheffield, is a tribute to both the city and its people. The public were invited to submit “tiny plays“ for the performance, of which five were chosen. Other writers, poets, playwrights were selectively approached to contribute to the production. It has resulted in a quirky, teasing, spirited take of the city, its landscape, buildings, venues and of course its people.

The plays reflect a love and familiarity of the city. Everyone who knows Sheffield will find something that will make them smile, be proud, defiant or recognise exactly the behaviour of its people or its landscape. In fact many of the reflections are so intimate; it can pull you up a bit. It doesn’t shy away from the argument that theatre can be elitist, so rest assured the plays in their diversity try to be inclusive. They are current and of the moment.

There is wholeness about the production. The tiny plays are not a series of sketches. They run smoothly and seamlessly into each.

But it is not only the text, dialogue, verse and lyrics that makes the production varied and at the same time all embracing, it is the cast of Sheffield People’s Theatre. Sixty local residents ranging in age from 12 to 85 put an energy and passion into their performances, and create different communities of diverse characters, age groups and experiences. They were all believable in the varied rôles they played from rowdy football mobs, to well-meaning busybodies, to anxious children, pseudo intellectuals, freshers, clubbers and to hapless city planners.

Full credit to the director, Andrew Loretto, the movement director Lucy Cullingford and the cast. The production appeared to flow effortlessly despite the constant movement on stage. They managed to create that sense of busyness that a city generates. The timing was superbly orchestrated.

Full use was made of the Studio, with an eclectic mix of domestic objects suspended from the ceiling, freeing all available floor space. One wall of the studio was recreated into stone faced buildings, with windows and doorways for the cast to speak from, adding to the sense of inner city, hills, height and vistas for which Sheffield is famous.

Only drawback, all tickets are sold out, which speaks volumes for the production..

Runs until Saturday 13 April 2013

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