A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Standing at the Sky’s Edge

Standing at the Sky’s Edge
13 February 2024
Gillian Lynne Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Standing on the Sky’s Edge had a sold out run at the National Theatre last year, and is now playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End.

This new musical is set in Sheffield and follows three generations over sixty years, all in the same flat in Park Hill, a brutalist council estate built in the late 50s and recently completely renovated. The three stories unfold simultaneously, a young couple in the early 60s moving in with great hopes for a bright future, in the late 80s, a young family of immigrants from Liberia takes over the flat, finally in 2016, a professional from London flees her life after a bad break up and seeks to start over in Sheffield.

While the stories are easy to distinguish, it is a marvel to behold how the actors move through the space, each set characters living their own lives while expertly manoeuvring around each other. A choreography overlaying the separate stories perfectly, utilising the space incredibly well and blending the three generations of lives in the flat in a fresh and inspiring way.

Flowing through decades of post-war optimism, the steel industry booming before austerity and industrial decline hit hard, decline of the community and eventual fears of the consequences of gentrification, the stories mirror the history of Sheffield and lay bare the human cost of recessions and capitalism. But there is also a strong thread of love, hope for the future, and love of life going through the musical. The brutalist and minimalist set is the perfect accompaniment for the mood and temperament of this show, with moody songs flowing through the plot and enhancing the emotionality of the more hard hitting moments.

A beautiful show that runs the gamut from devastating to elating and back again.

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