The creators of the multi award-winning musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge are to receive an honorary degree from Sheffield Hallam University along with seven other notable public figures.

Awards will be presented alongside graduating students during ceremonies in November 2023.

Writer Chris Bush, Director Robert Hastie, and Co-Producer Rupert Lord will accept the award on behalf of the whole team for their outstanding contribution to the creative industries.

The team said: “On behalf of everyone behind Standing at the Sky’s Edge, we are thrilled to be honoured in this way.

standing at the sky's edge

“This show has been made with, for and by the people of Sheffield, proudly presented on our Crucible stage, and propelled to critical acclaim and a further life at the National Theatre and now the West End by Sheffield’s incredible audiences, whose support of theatre in this city is enormous and vital to UK culture.”

Standing at the Sky’s Edge is a love letter to Sheffield and an ode to the iconic Park Hill Estate, featuring original songs from Sheffield’s very own Richard Hawley (also an honorary degree recipient – 2008). It charts the hopes and dreams of three generations over the course of six decades.

Standing at the Sky's Edge

The production was written by Sheffield-born Chris Bush and directed by Robert Hastie, Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director. It opened in March 2019 at the Crucible and won Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards and the 2020 South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

In 2023, the production scooped two Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Original Score and will transfer to the West End in February 2024.

Other notable figures who will receive honorary awards from the University include: Sathnam Sanghera, Vivienne Parry OBE, Uriah Rennie, Tim Campbell MBE, Dr Sara Hornby, Ian Stuart and Professor Phillipe Sands KC.

Award-winning journalist and author, Sathnam Sanghera. Photo credit: Fred Windsor-Clive

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Chris Husbands said: “We are incredibly proud to announce the names of this year’s honorary awards recipients. They all embody the values of Sheffield Hallam University and have made outstanding contributions to society in their respective fields.

“We know they will inspire our graduating students as they move to the next stage in their lives and very much looking forward to welcoming them to our community.”

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