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Our Drama groups head back to the Crucible

Our acclaimed cast of Sheffield actors and performers are bringing two new original productions to the Crucible Theatre next week.

We will premiere two very different plays at the Crucible Studio on Tuesday May 31st and Wednesday June 1st.

‘Freedonia’ (May 31) is a reflection on a dystopian society where dreaming is forbidden and hope must fight fear and isolation. ‘The Many Journeys of Maria Rossi (June 1) is a story about triumph over oppression amongst Sicilian peasants living in the shadow of Mount Etna.

Both plays are moral tales packed with drama, music, dance and video content and have been devised and written entirely by the cast themselves led by director Steve Givnan.

They are the long-anticipated follow-ups to Under The Stars’ first appearance at the Crucible Studio Theatre in 2019 when their adaptation of King Lear was described as “powerful” and “unique and emotive”

in rave reviews.

Director Steve Givnan said: “

We started work straight away on developing ideas and characters for new plays after King Lear.

“One group wanted to produce a serious piece of theatre again and looked at themes of fear, hope, isolation and freedom. We had no idea the pandemic was about to come along and when it did the experience gave all these issues even greater meaning.

“Our second group was inspired by a news report about Mount Etna erupting which then led them right back to Sicily in the 1660s – a time of poverty, plague and cruel baronesses! We greeted each other in Italian during our Zoom rehearsals and even learned traditional Italian dances in our own homes.

“When we were finally all able to meet up for rehearsals it made us appreciate what we had previously taken for granted – the ability to come together and freely explore creative ways of expressing situations.

“The shows have been a long time in the making and our actors have shown great perseverance. The cast are very excited to finally perform in front of a live audience.”

Cast member Anne Marie Gray said of The Many Journeys of Maria Rossi: “The play is about taxes, being poor and if money buys happiness. And there’s a volcano!”

Cast member Ken Dodd said of Freedonia: “This play is about freedom and losing it, maybe losing your mind. People controlling you. In the end it’s happy.”

Tickets, priced at £10, are still available for both plays, but as these are one-night-only performances, seats are filling fast. Please book here. Performances start 7 pm.

Under the Stars band, The Sparke Sistaz, will appear as a support act for Tuesday night’s performance.

Under the Stars is dedicated to using creativity and the performing arts to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

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