Lyceum Theatre (Sheffield)


Lyceum Theatre (Sheffield)

The Lyceum is a 1068-seat theatre in the City of Sheffield, England.

History

Built in 1897 to a traditional proscenium arch design, it is the only surviving theatre outside of London designed by the famous theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague and the last example of an Edwardian auditorium in Sheffield. The Statue on top of the Lyceum Theatre is Mercury, son of Zeus and Maia. Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, wrestling, gymnastic exercises, thieving and anything else that requires skill and dexterity.

By the late fifties. the Lyceum were experiencing financial difficulties and by 1966, bingo callers were keeping the rumoured threat of demolition at bay. However, the theatre closed in 1969 and, despite being granted Grade II listed status in 1972, planning permission was sought for its demolition in 1975. The building was saved in the large part due to campaigning by the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society.

Over the years the building changed hands many times, being used as a bingo hall and a rock concert venue. By the 1980s the interior was in a state of disrepair. The City Council bought the building in 1985, it was reclassified to Grade II* listed status, and between 1988 and 1990 was completely restored at a cost of £12 million.

The theatre reopened in 1990 and now serves as a venue for touring West End productions and operas by Opera North as well as locally produced shows. It is part of the Sheffield Theatres complex with the neighbouring Crucible Theatre and the Crucible Studio under the artistic director Samuel West.

Home of Pantomime

The Lyceum prides itself as being the home of Sheffield's Pantomime. For many years, the months between Christmas Eve and Easter was Panto-time with visiting producers bringing famous actors and variety turns to entertain local families twice a day. In the forties, the Lyceum began to produce its own pantomime and were soon bringing in stars of radio such as Morecambe and Wise, Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd.

However, closure of the Lyceum meant that after the final Pantomime performance in March 1969, there was no cries of "Behind You!" until it was reopened in the nineties. The pantomime returned home from the Crucible Theatre, courtesy of touring production companies. However, the Lyceum now once again producing its own Pantomimes.

ee also

*Sheffield Theatres
*Crucible Theatre
*Crucible Studio

References

*" [http://www.made-in-sheffield.com/Places/Of-The-Week/lyceum.htm The Lyceum Theatre.] " "Made In Sheffield Dot Com" (accessed 17 July 2005).
*Olive, Martin (1994). Norfolk Street, Fitzalan Square. In "Images of England: Central Sheffield", pp51–64. Stroud: Tempus Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7524-0011-8

External links

* [http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/index.cfm Sheffield Theatres website]


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