Richard Hawley’s musical ‘Standing At The Sky’s Edge’ is heading to London’s West End
Richard Hawley‘s musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge is set to come to London’s West End in 2024.
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Following a recent successful run at the capital’s National Theatre, from next February the show, which features classic songs by Hawley to portray “a love letter to Sheffield and ode to the iconic Park Hill Estate”, will move to the Gillian Lynne Theatre. For more information and pre-sale access head here.
It made its debut at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2019 and returned in 2022 before it went on to make its London premiere in February this year.
Speaking about the move to the West End, Hawley said in a press release: “In all honesty I never really thought this story would leave the inside of our minds but to see it blossom and grow from a heartfelt set of ideas exchanged in a Sheffield pub to sell out shows at the Crucible and National theatres every single night has been a very powerful experience.
“The drive, focus and determination to allow the voices and history of Park Hill to be heard at last by everyone involved has been equally mind-blowing. This would’ve been more than enough for me to say the least…but the West End?…next you’ll be telling me Sheffield Wednesday are going up this season!”
Confirmed: Standing at the Sky’s Edge to transfer to the West End https://t.co/hKYuo8vRbz pic.twitter.com/YeTvt98PTB
— WhatsOnStage (@WhatsOnStage) April 3, 2023
Last night (April 2), Standing At The Sky’s Edge picked up Best New Musical and Best Original Score and New Orchestrations’ at 2023 Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall.
Speaking to NME ahead of the show’s debut in February, Hawley said: “It’s fucking exciting stuff. The great test will be how well it travels. Like Henderson’s Relish and local beer, it might not make it that far south! I hope it does, and it’s great that The National Theatre have given it the chance.
“There’s always been the drive for me to do it, and it isn’t money or success, but to make sure that those people’s voices are heard. The people that lived on Park Hill were basically forgotten. They were left to rot and then forced out.”
After at first finding the idea of a musical of his songs to be “ludicrous”, Hawley then came around and handed his songs over to “the real geniuses” of director artistic director Robert Hastie and playwright Chris Bush.
“I wasn’t very precious about anything and I thought it would be interesting to see what another creative team would do with the songs,” he said. “I was involved, but Chris and others’ contribution was far bigger than mine.”
He continued: “There are certain rules I laid down. I said, ‘No fucking jazz hands and no fucking wafting about’. I also said, ‘If you pull a punch with the story and try to soften the story from what it really is, I’ll walk’. To their credit, the creative team haven’t done that. There hasn’t been any cowardice and the story is really raw and true.
“I didn’t want to make it political band standing or finger-wagging. You get to the morality just by telling the story.”
Meanwhile, the singer-songwriter also recently criticised the Tory government, describing today’s politicians as “narcissists”.