Americain Idiot the musical at Sheffield Lyceum

Fabulous music but, then it is Greenday so it would be! Performed by some fantastic voices; including the lead male who also adopted a credible rock star proforma.

Unfortunately I found the plot a little thin and incomprehensible. The plot was also unedifying, centring about what could be described as American young layabouts lacking inspiration and indeed I did not find it to be a gripping story about them gaining purpose; I’m not even sure whether it was a story about finding purpose as I was lost by the end.

However at the end, I and much of the audience was on their feet for the cast’s encore where they performed Good Riddance (Time of life).

Standing on Sky edge (theatre review)

A show like Everyone is talking about Jamie; that is set in Sheffield and premiered in Sheffield. It is on for next couple of weeks; but tickets may be scarce!

Specifically it is set in Park Hill Flats. The flats, when they were built in the 60s were thought to be height of luxury; particularly as they were built to house people, who had formerly lived in what was regarded as the slums of Sheffield. The flats were cities in the sky, with similar set ups in other cities. If you want to know more about these communities in the sky, a good resource is Western park museum. The museum has a kitchen; set up from one of the flats and a video about the flats in their heyday. Alas, over time the flats fell into disrepair and owing to the maze of corridors and bridges; crimes rose within the perimeters. By some the harsh angular, imposing block of flats are regarded as eye sores. Other cities tore their equivalents down; with the result that, Park Hill flats were the last remaining example in the country and became grade 2 listed meaning they could not be pulled down. Therefore instead of pulling them down, as they had to be preserved the idea was for them to be modernised by developers. To date only one of the flats has been developed. Many would regard the undeveloped flats as an eye sore, some would consider the developed ones also an eye sore.

The flats can be seen behind the train stations. They are iconic to Sheffield. The play therefore offers a glimpse into this unique Sheffield institution. The set features a layout of a flat with skeleton of block of flats as backdrop, but I don’t think it is really representative of how the flats looks Across stage is lights spelling out ‘I love you, will you marry me’ (see Wonderwall360 for illustration of stage) which refers to graffiti stating the same on the flats, which has not just been retained following the the development but, additionally enhanced with lights, however the story of this graffiti is not referenced in the play. I think much of the humour is Sheffield inside jokes. Such as Henderson’s relish. Although it mentions that the flats are listed I’m not sure that someone who was not already aware of the history would understand why that was.

There are three narratives of residents in the flat. Scoreboards are used to indicate the year at the start of each narrative and as each story progresses. At times as residents operate in same space the characters are seen in the same space, as if in parrellel universes, so that the narratives become entwined. The starting, date of the latter of the narratives is 2016; sometime after the result to leave the EU. The dialogue around that raised laughs at the irony, of still not knowing more about how we are to proceed than we did in 2016. The narratives features other significant events for the city, such as the demise of the steel industry, that had a large adverse affect on the city as also referenced in the Full Monty which is at Sheffield theatres in May.

As mentioned at the start this show is set to sellout out, over next few weeks, like Everyone is talking about Jamie did. However, I can not see it transferring to London successfully, like Everyone is talking about Jamie, because it is too Sheffield centric; to have universal appeal. Evidently I’am biased, given how much, I adore Everybody’s talking about Jamie but, I don’t see Standing on Sky Edge in same scale. Despite music being written by Sheffield born Richard Hawley, I like Jamie’s music much more. Up until near the end of Sky edge, I thought it was watchable but, not outstanding. The ending slightly altered; that perception. No spoilers but, the ending was emotional! Over the next few weeks there will be tears in that theatre! A type of ending, that if you are with a loved one, you want to hold them close and if you are not with them you want to hear their voice.

22nd February, Sheffield

It seems 22nd February is a historic Sheffield day.

Firstly 200years ago on 22nd February 1819 the first canal boats travelled down the new Sheffield canal. To celebrate there is events in Victoria Quays from 11am.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/events/2019-02-22-sheffield-canals-big-birthday-bash

Secondarily, 75 years ago on 22nd February 1944 a plane travelling back from Denmark crashed in Endcliffe Park. Due to avoiding boys playing on the grass and instead crashing into trees tragically killing the crews. One of the boys who’s life was saved is now 82 and he campaigned for the event to be commentated. At about 8.45am on 22nd February there will be a fly pass Ecclesall road, which is being shown live on BBC 1.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-mi-amigo-flypast-over-sheffield-s-endcliffe-park-1-9608310/amp

Tramlines 2019

The first of line up for Hillsborough Park has been revealed. Not quite as exciting as Stereophonics and Noel last year, but that may mean get to experience some of the Tramline attractions in city centre this year . The days everyone is playing has not yet been announced but, it is on 19-21st July. Manic Street Preachers and Happy Monday’s stand out for me. The below link to NME lists more.

https://www.nme.com/news/music/courteeners-two-door-cinema-club-miles-kane-manic-street-preachers-first-names-tramlines-2019-2441368/amp

The Gatehouse Cafe in Kelham Island

Kelhham Island continues to become increasingly gentrified with cool places popping up. A new one for me was Gatehouse cafe. Seriously, sophisticated cool, with a jukebox in the corner.

I had Parma hand eggs Benedict. Melt in mouth hollandaise contrasting with sharp vingarette of salad.

I drank salted caramel hot chocolate the flavour was amazing, intense, delightful and there were solid bits of fudge at the bottom.

See Wonderwall360 instragram for pictures.

Sheffield circus

There is currently temporary exhibitions, about circus at Western bank (within Sheffield university) and Western Park Museum.

As this extract from article about Western bank exhibition explains, this year marks the 250th anniversary of what is considered to be the birth of circus in Britain.

n 1768 in London Phillip Astley unveiled a show which, for the very first time, combined equestrianism, clowning and acrobatics within a now iconic circular ring. This ground-breaking performance marked the birth of a global phenomenon; 250 years later, circus continues to amaze and astound audiences, showcasing the talents of legions of impossibly skilled performers in shows around the world.

Western bank circus

I have been to the Western Park exhibition. There is circus posters, exhibits about different performers, stuffed circus animals and a canal skeleton. There are two screens, showing films. When I was there one screen was showing acrobats and other women with circus connections discussing circus. Additionally there are dressing up clothes for children. I have pictures on my Wonderwall360 instragram of a couple of the exhibits.

In a slight derivation to circus, Kelham Island Museum has archive of fairground memorabilia.

Sleeping out to raise awareness of homelessness

I ‘slept’ outside Sheffield cathedral to raise awareness of homeless, so writing this post to share that awareness.

#capsleepout25

We started with a meeting about the sleepout / Archer project. Then went outside about 8pm to set up. About 10 we had a tour of the facilities the Archer project has at the cathedral; kitchen, laundry and showers. Then I went out for the night.

Of course, this was not an authentic experience as we could have gone inside cathedral at anytime. Really on streets at night, would have no access to toilets or running water to wash hands. I had my house keys in bag and could have jumped into taxi at anytime and been in my bed in 15minutes. Also got to sleep in a group, so I did not feel scared. We laid in row against cathedral wall to shelter us, between two places where wall jutted out either side of stained glass window; it was cosy! It was my first time sleeping directly under stars. Looking up could see architecture of the cathedral and stars. Therefore for us this really was about an experience rather than real hardship.

The biggest discomfort for me was the hardness of the floor. I had a camping mat, which could feel concrete through. The zip of borrowed sleeping bag would not connect so, did not have a bag to get in. Most of night bag was on top, skewed to side of me. After many hours I did try, putting sleeping bag underneath me for extra padding. I was wrapped in cosy fleece blanket. Then had a plastic sheet over to keep it all dry. I was so uncomfortable, that constantly wanted to change position. Rather awkward as sandwiched between two people and when moved plastic sheet rustled, so did not want to disturb people. We were lucky not colder and barely rained. People sleepout in much worse conditions. I may have felt like could have had better equipment, but people sleepout on cardboard with no sleeping bag.

I did not feel vulnerable as we were in a group, with people awake keeping an eye on us. We had our bags between the cathedral wall and sleeping bags. As we were all in a row in front of bags; no one could get to them without stepping over us. Whereas on the street alone, it would be much harder to protect belongings.

There is not necessarily a shortage of accommodation, but people can not always make use of it. People may feel safer on the street than in a hostel. There were some spice users around who, were up all night rather than being in accommodation. Rules in accommodation surrounding being sober; are a barrier to addicts.

It was not as noisy as I had been dreading; but, it was never quiet. It was mainly the discomfort that kept me awake. At about 6 we were all forced to pack up. A message that the Archer project was keen to get across was how tough dealing with life is when sleep deprived. We all the next day did not feel very motivated to do anything; therefore organising things like benefits is a really difficult task for rough sleepers who are sleep deprived. Of course the more sleep deprived, get harder it is to function. This is where the Archer project comes into support clients in contacting the people they need to, completing forms, allowing them to use the address to receive post, phone access, access to electric to charge mobile if have one, along with more basic services like food and washing facilities. On the tour we also saw medical room where doctors, dentists, chiropodists etc… come to on different days, giving time for free to treat people.

In summary, it was an enlightening experience. However despite this and my research into homelessness for lent posts in 2017, it is still a complex subject.

Tramlines is over, but Sheffield culture continues

Went to buy a ticket to my favourite comedian Rhod Gilbert at Sheffield City hall. Outside was Morris dancers and the usual Women of Steel statues and Jessica Enis’s Gold Post Box. Then a Busker playing an accordion at the one of the other corners.

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Tramlines 2018 photos

The park was transformed.

Predictably I still adore Noel Gallagher.

http://wonderwall360.blog/2018/07/23/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-7-22-18/

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Loved seeing Shed7 and Stereophonics again.

Stereophonics Wanna Get Lost with you’

Shed 7 Chasing Rainbows 🌈

I went in the park each of three days of festival as evidenced by getting a bag check tag for every day.

Sure the fringe would have also been enjoyable, but the only bit of Fringe that got to was seeing PJ One Drop on Saturday at the Horse and Jockey in Hillsborough.

As never left Hillsborough the tram strike was not a problem.

http://wonderwall360.blog/2018/07/19/sheffield-tramlines-and-trams/

Ate tempura prawns 🦐 and chips 🍟 in the Park. Saturday in the park had Frenchie Poutine; from Gravy train. Sunday night an excellent curry in newly reopened, under new management Indian in Hillsborough behind Hillsborough Park tram stop.

Plenty of sun but, not intense heat of recent weeks which may not have been pleasant to sit in for extended periods.

All, in all a fantastic weekend in Hillsborough.