Published on Oct 3, 2012
"An extraordinary fusion of local people, music, singers, not-quite actors. Beautiful, flowing script by Sally. The melody of the Sheffield accent swept through the story. Totally professional production in a tiny community centre which, barring this show, is "in't middle a nowhere."
Big Sky -- Stories from the Edge was an exciting new show with stories and songs about life on Skye Edge, written and performed by Sally Goldsmith with help from local people, musician Val Regan and guest performer Ray Hearne.
In the show we met Derek the pigeon fancier -- 'trainin' pigeons since I were a lad', dog walkers, young footballers, prefab and maisonette dwellers, Pat who hid her telly from the license inspector and Olga with a great big wish. Then there was the mystery of who nicked Piggy Weston's piglets?
The inspiration for the show was Skye Edge itself with some of the finest views in Sheffield. A place with a panoramic vision of green hills and glittering terraces, a big sky, filled with homing pigeons circling above high-rise flats, a backdrop of dark and distant moors. It stands so high above the city that you could almost imagine taking off and flying. And when night falls, you can see the city's lights flicker on, one by one. Tracy, who used to live in the prefabs before they were demolished, remembers, 'Every night you'd go to bed and you'd get this wonderful picture. It was like Vegas, everything twinkling and moving right across the city -- just from your window.'
Writer Sally Goldsmith spent three months talking to people who live, work and play in the area and re-told their stories in a beautiful, lyrical narrative punctuated by jaunty songs. Sally says, 'I love to make new work out of people's stories and the music of their authentic voices. I have a passion for Sheffield, which has been my home for the past 30 years, but I've only just discovered the magic of Skye Edge.'
The production featured a choir especially brought together for the production by Val Regan who wrote the harmonies to accompany Sally's songs and eight local residents including singer Pete and Pat McGrail who remembers the days when she used to share her washing machine -
I had a Hoover washing machine,
Just a little square 'un,
Agitator, electric rollers,
If my neighbor wanted to wash
We'd lift it 'ovver t'fence,
She'd use it, then heave it back.
That's how close we were.
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