The battle to build Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre – watch Society of Theatre Research’s latest free online/in-person talk

Join the Society of Theatre Research for their next free lecture on 16th November at 7:30pm online or in-person at at St Anne’s Soho.

Entitled ‘Stirring Up Sheffield: The Battle to Build the Crucible Theatre’ the talk is given by Tedd George, son the first Artistic Director of the Crucible Theatre, Colin George.

The book they wrote together– Stirring Up Sheffield – won the 2022 STR Theatre Book Prize. Stirring Up Sheffield is the story of a group of visionaries who came together to build a revolutionary thrust stage theatre in Sheffield. Their daring venture marked the high watermark of experimentation in post-war British theatre, but it was to provoke a battle amongst the UK’s theatrical elite.

So why did Sheffield opt for a thrust stage, and why was this design so controversial? In this talk, Tedd George explores the intense debates over the theatre’s design, the people who inspired the thrust stage – among them Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Tanya Moiseiwitsch – and the brilliant architects and engineers who turned their vision into concrete and steel. Drawing on material from his father’s archives and interviews with the surviving protagonists, among them the Crucible’s architect, Nick Thompson, Tedd reconstructs the design process that created what is arguably the most successful thrust stage ever built in the UK, and the technical innovations that were developed to achieve this.

Tedd also explores the battle of ideas over the Crucible’s creation, which pitted the Sheffield Star, local councillors and the so-called ‘Three Knights’ – Sir Bernard Miles, Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir John Clements – against the Morning Telegraph and Britain’s leading theatrical innovators, among them Michael Elliot, Peter Cheeseman and Alan Ayckbourn. Ultimately this battle drove Tedd’s father to resign as Artistic Director only one year after the Crucible’s opening, and it would be nearly forty years before he returned to the thrust stage he had helped create.

Attend this free event in person or watch online – more details and booking here


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