By Nick Ahad Arts Reporter
13 May 2010
Sheffield Theatres today announces its new season, featuring a star turn from Life on Mars actor John Simm as Hamlet.
Richard Wilson, known to millions as TV’s Victor Meldrew, will also take a director’s role.
The group, which includes the Lyceum, the Studio and the world famous Crucible, will also see a season of work celebrating David Hare and a revival of musical Me and My Girl in a version written by Stephen Fry.
The David Hare season will see all three theatres showing work by the same writer at the same time for the first time, one of the productions being directed by theatre royalty Peter Gill.
Yorkshire born John Simm, who played Sam Tyler in Life on Mars and The Master in Doctor Who, will be playing Hamlet in a new production of Shakespeare’s play in September.
The high profile casting sees artistic director Daniel Evans, a year into the job, continue the tradition started by former director Michael Grandage , who brought Kenneth Branagh to the city.
Mr Evans said: “The Crucible Theatre reopened in February this year after a two-year redevelopment and I’m deeply encouraged by the fact that over 23,000 people saw the first three productions in our opening season.
“As we look ahead to the new season, I’m delighted to announce an ambitious and varied programme of work, including classical, physical and musical theatre. The David Hare season will be the first time that Sheffield Theatres has staged one playwright’s work in each of its three venues – and I look forward to welcoming David to the city.”
Theatre and film writer and director Hare is most famous for the plays Pravda and the films The Reader and The Hours.
His plays Racing Demon, Plenty and The Breath of Life – which were written 12 years apart – will run across all three theatres, alongside a series of play readings, workshops, talks and interviews.
Peter Gill, one of British theatre’s most respected directors, along with Daniel Evans and Thea Sharrock, who directed Daniel Radcliffe in Equus, will be in charge of the three productions.
As an actor Richard Wilson’s most famous role was in TV’s One Foot in the Grave, but as a director his theatre credits are extensive.
He comes to Sheffield in July to direct That Face by Polly Stenham, in its English regional premiere.
Other highlights include the Christmas musical Me and My Girl, which will open in December and run until January next year.
Just seen John Simm in this production of Hamlet and he was brilliant. My first experience of Shakespeare on the stage and I didn’t know what to expect, but after a fantastic three and a half hours I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought he put on a great performance. He suits the stage and I hope he gets good reviews and feedback from this production. Lovely person to meet as well, taking time to make sure that all the fans waiting had time for autographs and photos before making use of his 2 hour break before the evening performance.