Wire stars team up again for Othello production

Clarke Peters and Dominic West  in The Wire
Clarke Peters and Dominic West in The Wire

STARS of American TV cop show The Wire, Clarke Peters and Dominic West, are being re-united as Othello and Iago in a major new production of Shakespeare’s tragedy at the Crucible Theatre.

Othello will be the centrepiece of a programme of events and projects in November to mark the theatre’s 40th birthday which was unveiled this week by Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans.

Both actors have previously trod the Crucible boards. Sheffield-born West, who played maverick Baltimore cop Jimmy McNulty in five seasons of The Wire, appeared in The Country Wife in his home city in 2000.

His American co-star (aka Lester Freamon in the worldwide HBO hit) was here in his days as a song and dance man in 1985 in Carmen Jones and later made his directing debut with Blues for Mr Charlie which opened the way for his famous show, Five Guys Named Moe. The Crucible’s original artistic director, Colin George, will join them in the cast returning to the stage to play Brabantio and Grantiano.

During November the whole building will be the focus of a variety of events and projects celebrating the theatre’s history and looking forward to its future.

A community ensemble, Sheffield People’s Theatre, will be launched this summer with open auditions leading to its first production, Lives in Art, a passionate and humorous play for all ages about how art affects our everyday normal lives, also in November.

Alongside this, there is Fanfared, an interactive theatrical experience for all ages that offers a unique and personal journey into the Crucible’s history (named after Fanfare, the opening show at the theatre in 1971); Forced Entertainment’s That Night Follows Day presented by a cast of young people aged 8-14 and The Crucible Celebrates, a unique birthday party featuring discussions with alumni from the theatre’s past.

Sheffield Theatres will also launch East Midlands Trains First Time Fridays in which 40 tickets priced only 40p will be available to first time Crucible bookers each Friday throughout the birthday year.

Other highlights of the autumn season include the debut production in the Studio, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, by Eclipse Theatre since they became resident at Sheffield Theatres and the previously-announced Roundabout Season with Paines Plough in October.

Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Company, is the Christmas show at the Crucible with Daniel Evans in the lead role.

The Lyceum pantomime, Sleeping Beauty will feature Beverley Callard (Liz MacDonald from Coronation Street) as the Wicked Queen, Sid Sloane from CBeebies as the Jester and Sheffield’s favourite dame, Damian Williams, as Nurse Nellie.

Tickets for Sheffield Theatres’ autumn season go on sale to the public from Saturday, June 18.