We're pretty lucky in Sheffield to still have the Lyceum with us.
After closing in 1969 and going through a short stint as a bingo hall, the Lyceum stood largely desolate for a few decades, its future uncertain. Nobody could agree on what to do with the place. But while other ageing theatres in the city were bulldozed, the Lyceum building somehow managed to survive.
Following a huge refurbishment it reopened in 1990, almost a hundred years on from its first grand opening. The Lyceum is the only surviving theatre outside of London designed by the famous theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague, and the last remaining example of an Edwardian auditorium in Sheffield.
From the front, the Lyceum is a candy-coloured palace, and, inside, the gold swirls of its proscenium arch and its elaborate fittings add to the fairytale feel.
Today, the theatre is big on West End musicals, panto and opera. It's also home to most of the city's dance productions, and that's our favourite time to visit; it's quite something to watch some of the world's best contemporary companies strut their graceful stuff amidst the Lyceum's gold leaf splendour.
- Words by
- Claire Thornley
- Images by
- Shaun Bloodworth