It’s a tale of two time periods in Steel, the latest production by Chris Bush for Sheffield Theatres. Set in our very own Steel City, famous for its left-wing politics, Bush’s play dives in and out of two narratives – joining Josie and Dai in the late 1980s and Vanessa and Ian in the present day.
Rebecca Scroggs takes on the characters of Josie, a young local engineer, during her first foray into politics with the local Labour council, and Vanessa, an ambitious woman who is returning to her home town in a bid to become the city’s mayor.
Scroggs plays opposite Nigel Betts, cast as local Labour council member and mentor Dai in the 1980s, and as Ian, Vanessa’s primary advisor and a veteran of the Labour party, in the present day. The switches between the two narratives are achieved through a musical score including broken down renditions of songs from the Arctic Monkeys and Human League, together with the donning and discarding of jackets, glasses, and indeed postures and accents by Scroggs and Betts. Their ability to change between their two characters in an instant is impressive throughout.