Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End?

Chris Bush's award-winning musical has now opened at the Gillian Lynne Theatre

By: Feb. 29, 2024
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Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End?
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Chris Bush's multi-award winning new musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge has now opened at the Gillian Lynne Theatre following sold-out runs at the National Theatre and Sheffield Theatres.

Directed by Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director Robert Hastie, with irresistible songs of legendary singer-songwriter Richard Hawley and a beautiful, hilarious and gut-wrenching book by Chris Bush, Standing at the Sky’s Edge reveals the history of modern Britain through the stories of the landmark housing estate.

So what did the critics think?

Photo credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Franco Milazzo, BroadwayWorld: This is not a show for the cynical at heart and those who travel without a hankie may have to make do with an absorbent sleeve. Standing At Sky’s Edge is an epic musical for (and about) the ages. For those who haven’t seen it, prepare to fall in love. And, for those who have already seen it, be it in Sheffield or on the South Bank, prepare to fall in love again.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Marianka Swain, London Theatre: Although this is a love letter to Sheffield and its community (Henderson’s relish gets a cameo role), Bush articulates the opposing argument too: that your hometown can sometimes be a trap, and you might need to leave to grow. Likewise, she gives us swooning declarations of love, yet has an exasperated Poppy call out the grand-gesture-profferring Nikki’s “Richard Curtis bullshit”.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Dave Fargnoli, The Stage: Following the fortunes of families living in Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill estate, Robert Hastie’s busy production presents a kaleidoscope of poignant moments from across the decades – New Year’s Eve parties and election nights, celebrations and street fights. Bush’s characters are instantly recognisable, but their triumphs and tragedies are reduced to brief, emotionally resonant vignettes in Hastie’s headlong, breathless staging.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Alex Wood, WhatsOnStage: Provoking fevered reactions – many audible gasps or sobs were heard after a variety of plot beats – while being resolutely, brazenly assured in its craft, makes Standing at the Sky’s Edge a towering feat of contemporary musical theatre. It stands as a shining tribute to the combined power of both popular music and stage storytelling, and subsidised and commercial theatre. Unmissable.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Clive Davis, The Times: If there’s a problem with many of the other polished songs, it’s that they sometimes seem to have been inserted into the action almost at random. As much as you admire the musicianship of the band, tucked away on the first and second floors, you are often left wondering how exactly the numbers move the story on.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End? Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph: Moving the show to the West End might conceivably look like a commercially risky step too far, but there’s something about the defiant boldness of that assault on theatreland together with the apt concrete aesthetic of the Gillian Lynne that makes the show seem at home on its own terms.

Review Roundup: Did STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE Impress in the West End?
Average Rating: 83.3%


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