The Olivier Award winning musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge, with music by Richard Hawley, is to transfer into the West End, opening at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2024.
Fresh from its win last night for Best New Musical at the 2023 Olivier Awards, it has been announced the show will transfer to the Gillian Lynne Theatre from February 2024, with an initial run of six months.
The show also won Best Original Score or New Orchestration last night at the Olivier Awards, for Richard Hawley’s music and lyrics and Tom Deering’s orchestrations; and other award wins include Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards and the Best Theatre going at the 2020 South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Written by Chris Bush, with songs by legendary Sheffield singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky’s Edge is directed by Robert Hastie – Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, where the musical first started, and recently completed an acclaimed run at the National Theatre in London.
Reviews for the show have been stellar, with five-stars from the FT, Daily Mail and i News.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge follows three storylines across three generations: Poppy wants to escape her old life in London; Joy and Jimmy want to spend the rest of their lives together; and Rose and Harry want the new life they’ve been promised.
The London cast included Ahmed Hamad, Sèverine Howell-Meri, Samuel Jordan, Bobbie Little, Robert Lonsdale, David McKechnie, Maimuna Memon, Rachael Louise Miller, Baker Mukasa, Alastair Natkiel, Faith Omole, Adam Price, Consuela Rolle, Nicola Sloane, Jake Small, Deborah Tracey, Rachael Wooding and Alex Young.
The creative team includes set and costume design by Ben Stones, choreography by Lynne Page, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Deering, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Bobby Aitken, wigs, hair and make-up design by Cynthia De La Rosa and casting by Stuart Burt CDG. Music director is John Rutledge, fight director is Kenan Ali, associate choreographer is Thomas Herron, assistant music director is Ehsaan Shivarani, dialects coaches are: Michaela Kennen and Shereen Ibrahim, and casting of young performers by Chloe Blake.
The Gillian Lynne Theatre is the perfect space for the show, and the National’s other Olivier Theatre hit The Lehman Trilogy transferred to the space, and is now playing until 21 May 2024.
Crazy for You, the smash-hit Chichester Festival Theatre production of the Gershwin musical, goes in to the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 24 June 2023, to 20 January 2024.
There’s no news on casting or specific West End dates.
Richard Hawley said: “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!”
Chris Bush said: “Making Standing at the Sky’s Edge has been the most extraordinary and rewarding experience of my professional career. To see audiences at the National Theatre leap to their feet for these characters and these stories with the same enthusiasm as those in Sheffield has meant the world to me. For all its hyper-specificity, the last few months have cemented for us that these themes of home, of love, of fresh starts and second chances, are utterly universal. I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ll get to introduce Park Hill to a whole new set of audiences in 2024.”
Robert Hastie said: “We’ve all been thrilled by the response to Standing at the Sky’s Edge during great runs at the Sheffield Crucible and the National Theatre. It’s a massive achievement by everyone involved to have told this story with such passion and commitment that we’re now able to announce this transfer to the Gillian Lynne, the perfect theatre for this story’s next chapter. I’m enormously proud and excited.”
Gillian Lynne Theatre,