Standing at the Sky's Edge

Cast: 11-13f 10-27m

Staging: Built set (Park Hill flats, Sheffield)


Performing rights not held by Nick Hern Books

Amateur rights performance fee: £170 per performance (plus VAT where applicable)

Ebook, 120 pages ISBN: 9781788506380Publication Date:
15 Dec 2022
£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)
First Staged:
Sheffield Theatres, 2019

Standing at the Sky's Edge

By Chris Bush and Richard Hawley

Ebook £10.99£8.79

Professional Production On Stage at:
Gillian Lynne Theatre, West End
From Thu 8 Feb 2024 to Sat 3 Aug 2024
  • Best Musical Production, UK Theatre Awards
  • Best New Musical, Olivier Awards - 2023
  • South Bank Sky Arts Award for Theatre

Poppy wants to escape her old life in London. Joy and Jimmy want to spend the rest of their lives together. Rose and Harry want the new life they've been promised.

A history of modern Britain told through the stories of one Sheffield housing estate, Standing at the Sky's Edge charts the hopes and dreams of three generations over the course of six tumultuous decades. With a book by acclaimed playwright Chris Bush, and set to the irresistible songs of legendary singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, it is a heartfelt exploration of the power of community and what it is we call home.

Standing at the Sky's Edge was first performed at Sheffield Theatres in 2019, when it won Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards and the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Theatre. It was revived in 2022, before transferring to the National Theatre, London, directed by Robert Hastie.

It won Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards 2023, with Richard Hawley and Tom Deering's work also awarded Best Original Score or New Orchestations.

Also available: a revised edition published alongside the West End transfer in 2024

Press Quotes

'The most exciting new British musical in years'


'Magnificent... wonderful... possesses remarkable breadth and depth... a moving and resonant piece'

The Times

'A glorious love letter to Sheffield with a big, booming heart and astonishing sound... unstoppably winning, ineffably exuberant, extremely moving... take tissues'


'Fresh and original, gripping and full of hope... a feisty gem of a show'

Reviews Hub

'Uplifting and beguiling... a bold step forward for musical theatre... smashing'

Evening Standard

'Exhilarating and big-hearted... Bush's script is sparkily witty and affectionate, she interweaves the stories with great skill... A wonderfully generous, uplifting piece of theatre'

Financial Times

'A thing of elemental power... a truly singular musical... Bush has a great knack for mixing rabble-rousing populism with more astringent social commentary... It manages to be both widescreen and kitchen sink, of the theatre and of the estate. It's a hugely admirable achievement'

Time Out

'A huge-hearted, stirring show... a salute to resilience and community. It's jubilant and defiant, with the emotional force of a juggernaut... it elevates the extraordinary in ordinary lives, while charting 60 years of social change... both tough and tender, it seizes your heart and squeezes it tight... there's a thrilling scope and elan to the way in which the writing embraces the personal and political and the sweep of recent history, taking in the realities at the sharp end of government policies, strikes, gentrification and class inequality – all of which has obvious enduring pertinence... a triumphant tribute to all the unacknowledged battles fought and dreams pursued, all the tiny miracles of the everyday'

The Stage

'The perfect blend of power and heart... Praise be for this bittersweet musical love letter to the city of Sheffield that reaches far beyond South Yorkshire to encompass a haunting meditation on the universal idea of home'


'A tender yet powerful collage of Sheffield's spiritual and political history... The way Chris Bush conjures a sense of time and place is astonishing. She evokes the stories effortlessly in all their unspeakable totality, warmth, and sentimentality'

Broadway World

'This is what a new musical should be. It feels fresh and contemporary, but with all the elements that make for classic musical theatre... you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be blown away... a show that bursts with spirit and energy. It leaves you feeling excited just to be at the theatre'

Broadway Baby

Cast: 11-13f 10-27m

Staging:Built set (Park Hill flats, Sheffield)


Performing rights not held by Nick Hern Books

Amateur rights performance fee: £170 per performance (plus VAT where applicable)

Ebook,120 pages ISBN: 9781788506380Publication Date:
15 Dec 2022
£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)
Professional Production On Stage at:
Gillian Lynne Theatre, West End Thu 8 Feb 2024 - Sat 3 Aug 2024

Also by Chris Bush:

The Changing Room
Faustus: That Damned Woman
Rock / Paper / Scissors
The Assassination of Katie Hopkins
A Dream
The Last Noël
Nine Lessons and Carols
Standing at the Sky's Edge
Chris Bush Plays: One
(Not) the End of the World
Jane Eyre

Go to author page...

Also by Richard Hawley:

Standing at the Sky's Edge

Go to author page...

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