Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Songs from the Seven Hills review at Crucible Theatre, Sheffield – ‘heartfelt and witty’

The company of Songs from the Seven Hills at Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. Photo: Mark Douet
by -

A bereaved daughter fights to keep her local community centre open. A vicar finds the strength to leave her abusive husband. A transgender teen’s family tries to come to terms with her transition. A shiny new Swedish furniture store is just about to open, and a family of Syrian refugees are travelling towards Sheffield, the city where all this is happening.

These stories, based on interviews with local residents, intertwined and brought to life for Songs From The Seven Hills, the latest Sheffield People’s Theatre production at the Crucible. They’re cleverly linked together by the ghost of a recently deceased steelworker, who slowly reveals how all the characters are linked together.

John Hollingworth’s script is heartfelt and witty, while avoiding sentimentality, and Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie’s songs are reminiscent of the score for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – catchy and intelligent.

At times, the scale threatens to become a bit overwhelming, and the narrative loses focus – but the production’s heart keeps things together. As with any community project, the acting among the 50-strong ensemble varies in quality, but what they all have in common is a rare passion and enthusiasm that radiates off the stage.

Like the city itself, there’s nothing too flashy or showy about Songs from the Seven Hills. Rather, its power lies in illuminating the beauty in the mundane, and the poetry in the everyday. It’s that which gives this production its warm glow.

Focus: Sheffield serves up Shakespeare for, by and with the people in A Dream

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Sheffield People's Theatre's annual offering is a typically heartfelt and beautiful tribute to the beauty of the everyday