Comparison of Kith and Kin and Desire under the Elms which are both simultaneously being performed under the Sheffield Crucible roof for the next week. Contains SPOILERS

How interesting that one audience sees a Mother kill her child whilst another sees the prospect of a Mother facing giving up her child; both under the Crucible theatre roof. Kith and Kin is in the Studio theatre untill 7th October and Desire under the Elms is in the main Crucible theatre untill 15th October.

Kith and Kin was my favourite of the two but that is unsurprising seen as I love Studio plays and Kith and Kin grabbed me first from the programme. In fact I purchased a ticket for Kith and Kin but, sought and acquired a free ticket for Desire under the Elms.

Kith and Kin would have had to be; very poor to not be the preferred.

Highly recommend Sheffielders see Kith and Kin at Sheffield Crucible Studio in the next week…

Desire under Elms the first scenes, could have been cut whereas every second of Kith and Kin counted! The first scenes of Desire under Elms; were only scenes that featured the eldest sons. The scenes were difficult to follow as heavily dialected. The play cane alive when the new Mother appeared on stage. Whilst saying the first scenes, could have been cut the play did not feel long even though just shy of 2 and half hours long as it was an entertaining watch.

Not sure how much mystery I have maintained as to which Morhet killed their baby in a dramatic twist.

Highly recommend Sheffielders see Kith and Kin at Sheffield Crucible Studio in the next week…

Kith and Kin was another excellent play in the intimate Crucible studio for me. It is a shame it was less than half full. Perhapas the run has been too long? It has been on since 15th September and continues untill 7th October. Tickets are less than £20 and I highly recommend.

Sterling acting including one actress convincing playing two very different roles.

It centres around a homosexual couple’s surrogacy journey . There are three vastly different but equally intense acts. The plot covering the three acts has plenty of twist turns. Despite the intensity; at least in the first two acts if not the last, there are laughs along the way whilst addressing; legal and ethical issues surrounding surrogacy, family relationships, abuse within families, progression of rights to civil partnerships and later marriage to homosexuals within a 30something’s life, domestic violence within heterosexual relationships and qualifications to be a parent. Thought provoking whether a parent or not.

Tribes Studio Theatre 12.07.17

A play reflecting today’s world, where so many young adults find themselves living with parents. In adult bodies but with childhood resentments simmering.

The four adults are a make born deaf to parents who took the option not to learn to sign or to teach him. His brother who has a broken relationship and is contending with psycophernia and a stammer. His sister who also feels lost in the world, single. His girlfriend born to deaf parents, who is now losing hearing. The girlfriend talks about in deaf community how, no one understands what like to lose hearing as they have never had hearing.

The parents also featuring adding to colour of family life and provoking thoughts. Fantastic complex characters, not necessarily fully likeable. Play made time pass quickly.

On at Crucible studio untill 22nd July.

Out of Order, Sheffield Lyceum 14.05.17

With farces such as this,  you have to go being prepared to suspend disbelief… like why would someone stand there with trousers round ankles, how can they not see something right in front of them etc… I would prefer something more realistic. I have seen worse! Some farces you could if right disposition or in right mood, get really into. I do think this is one could get really into!

The comedy capers are set in a hotel and revolve around a junior Tory minster. There are references to May and Corbyn; not quite topical given shifting nature of English politics at the moment but still enough to raise smiles and laughs including from me.

Enjoyed central character; The junior minster. ‘Barry from Eastenders’ had a major part which he was competent at. Found Corboyn’s secretary a little annoying at points. Star performance perhapas goes to the actor playing dead on stage for ages; impressive understated acting!

Overall, not a must see but pleasant for light entertainment.

Time of my life in Crucible Studio untill Saturday 3rd June

A very clever play, centered around a meal for a Mother’s birthday with her husband and their two adult sons, respective wife and girlfriend. Later in the play there are scenes in the same restaurant from one of the son’s developing relationship before the birthday meal and in contrast the other son’s disintegrating marriage after the birthday meal. Lots of drama, tension, suspense and fantastic storytelling from Alan Ackyborne; I also really enjoyed his play Relatively Speaking.

As ever the studio; set out for this play as a round, provided an intimate venue. I was practically on the stage. There was clever use of lights over three tables to highlight the table where current scene was being played.

Stage at beginning of play

An amateur company but, very professional performance of a fabulous play.

Frankenstein Sheffield Crucible 16.03.17

Many good elements for this interpretation from Northern Theatre group.

  • A sterling cast selected for their ability.
  • Frankstein presence was rather minimal, not sure whether that was to suggest he could be a figament of imagination. Some of Frankenstein dialogue was hard to decipher therefore minimal presence was not issue.
  • Some good dialogue in scenes with other characters.
  • A metallic background helped to create a eerie feeling.
  • To paraphrase a line that got a titter from the audience for it’s topical nature “Europe is rather annoyed at the moment, annoyed at itself”

The elements did not quite come together to be something outstanding but it was highly watchable.

A Passionate Woman at the Lyceum Sheffield

A story set on a wedding day where the bride is not centre stage in fact is only on stage for 2minutes at the end of the show. It is the Mother of the Groom that is the centre. She has retreated to the attic on her son’s wedding day wearing her wedding outfit; but would she really have clambered up to the attic in heels? She is feeling unsettled as the wedding marks her son leaving home and moving to Milton Keynes where his bride has a new job, leaving her with her husband who she feels she is not appreciated by.

An initial monologue by the Mum played ably by Liza Goddard is interrupted by first her son (again strong acting) and then her husband.

The exasperated groom

The dialogue as you would expect for dialogue written by Kay Mellor is amusing. The second half becomes, not wishing to spoil it, less static. Not a deep play but an enjoyable  light hearted 95minutes with interval entertainment.

A list to be grown as to why Sheffield is city of culture.

After being shortlisted for city of culture for 2013 which made the council aware of the finicial burdens of hosting such an event then Sheffield will not be bidding for city of culture in 2021. The benefits of being a city of culture for a year; have not yet been realised. Sheffield may not be a city tourists think to visit but it does have lots of culture to offer. I have a couple of German colleagues who even after working in Sheffield for 9 months and a year respectively, Still loved it enough to return for trips. Perhaps as Sheffield is so close to Hull, it is unlikely even if bided for 2021 city of culture to win.

I can keep adding to this list but these are the cultural assets I can think of. What have I missed?

  • The elephants prove we can host big, city wide art events. With varied places to display large scale arts from city centre locations like Winter Gardens, Peace Square to spaces further out of the city; Endcliffe park, Graves Park, Hillsborugh walled garden.

The mini Elephant Herd

Top 5 Large Elephants (Children’s Hospital Trail Sheffield 2016)

I saw all the big and mini Sheffield elephants; but where are they now????


  • Lyceum theatre shows everything from panto to ballet.
  • The crucible has seating around the stage as well as being home to championship snooker host plays, musicals and talks. The Nap in 2016 about the snooker was one of the highlights of 2016.

Top theatrical performances 2015 and 2016

  • The studio within crucible is an intimate space for performances which I have seen configured many different ways.
  • The Deli theatre which was formally Woolworths is a massive space. I have seen Pic and Mix down in the Woolworths basement and The Great Gatesby immersive theatre.

Great Gatesby:Incredible Immersive Theatre (Deli Moor Theatre Sheffield)

  • Montgomery theatre
  • Universty drama studio theatre.
  • Lantern theatre; a small quirky Victorian theatre in Netheredge who offer similar quirky offerings


  • Tramlines which features multiple music venues throughout the city; many free.
  • In 2016 cliffhanger included a music stage on Devonshire green.
  • Outline festival
  • Jazz at the Lyceum monthly
  • Music stage at Heeley festival where you get the authentic festival experience of sitting on the grass.
  • Carol singing at various pubs November and December. Featuring Sheffield’s traditional carols that are not known outside Sheffield.
  • Chorus and semi chorus concerts. Next Chorus concert at the city hall featuring the community choir of over 200 is on 2nd April 2017 and features songs from films.
  • Once a month a folk train leaves Sheffield station to travel to Edale. On one of these nights we spotted Sheffield born Jarvis Cocker in the beer garden. Music is also played on the train.


  • Showroom shows some main steam films and some quirkier films.
  • Curzon never been as seems expensive but shows some less mainstream films like showroom.
  • Many are not keen with Odeon, it is not grand but I have found it adequate to watch films in.
  • Centertainment, large multplex which shows all the blockbusters and some Bollywood films.

Visual Art

  • The winter gardens is a great venue where local art groups sometimes show their pictures, mobiles can be hung from the ceiling and sculptures placed within the foliage; for example the Arctic Monkey elephant now lives here and some of the mini elephant herd lived here during summer 2016.


Hello again, to Arctic Monkey elephant🐘 in his new home in the Winter gardens.

  • Annual art in the garden in botanical gardens.
  • Graves art gallery.
  • This painting is in the O2 shop in Fargate.

Films filmed in Sheffield

  • Full monty which has later been converted to a stage play. Go to Cocoa for a full monty hot chocolate.
  • 4 lions.


  • Off the shelf literature festival.
  • Mosque
  • Night food markets with music: Peddlers Market and Street City.

Celebrating Chinese New Year at Sheffield Street City Food Market avec Music

To be continued ….

Top theatrical performances 2015 and 2016

My rankings of theatre performances

2016 top 3 theatre performances:

In 3rd place: Relatively Speaking: hilarious!
In 2nd place: The Nap: Easily capturing the atmosphere of Sheffield theatre as performed at the Crucible.

In 1st place: Great Gatesby. Meaning the deli theatre moves up from honourable mention last year!

Top 3 theatrical performance of 2015 (in no particular order): Blasted (Sarah Kane), Curious Incident of Dog in nighttime and The Effect. Honourable mention to Woolworth’s pick of mix …spending evening in old Sheffield Woolworth’s reminiscing about all Woolworth’s of my youth, winning pass the parcel and reading an e-mail to the rest of the audience and going home with pick and mix 🙂

Great Gatesby:Incredible Immersive Theatre (Deli Moor Theatre Sheffield)

Review of the Great Gatsby
21.12.16 Moor Deli Theatre

Go once, go twice, go three times; each time you can be assured of a fabulous unique experience. Or go with friends and do not worry about getting split up following different cast members; just join back up later to discuss different experiences. From walking in and ordering a cocktail , it is easy to get into the party atmosphere. Despite entering through a previously unnoticed door next to Superdrug and ascended up to a room within ex Woolworths with peeling paint. Whether alone or in a group the actors, play a host role mingling with the audience. A typical interaction could start with ‘Fabulous dress, did you buy it in Paris?’ (which is also good for the audience ego after taking the time to dress in 1920s style). The audience are naturally directed, into various rooms with prompts such as ‘Let’s go and dance though here’. Or when Daisy needs to change; ‘Come with me to help me decide what to wear’. Despite the volume of onlookers in the intimate setting of the dressing room, complete with dressing table and a selection of 1920S dresses, the convincing performance of Daisy ensured the intimate atmosphere was not lost.
All the cast despite having to maintain their characters for over 2 hours coped admirably in their roles. Including dealing with audience members, who inspired by the acting decided to build their characters or throw in lines to build their own sub plot; when there was enough action within the actual performance or dancing to do or; without need for more drama. The cast also coped with the anarchistic use of phones to capture the costumes of the cast and other members of the audience which provided scope for the typical party conversations; look at her dress etc..
For an amazing 1920S party, fabulous cast and thoroughly enjoyable evening a well-deserved 5 stars.