The Crucible Theatre at 50: Daniel Evans

There are those that thought Daniel Evans might have ended up at the National Theatre, and he might still do. When he left in 2016, he had led Sheffield Theatres to major award-winning success with nine UK Theatre Awards including Best Musical Production (This Is My Family), Best New Play (Bull) and Best Touring Production (The Full Monty 2013, Translations 2014, Twelfth Night 2015). Sheffield Theatres also won The Stage Regional Theatre of the Year Award for an unprecedented two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014, in recognition for its ambitious and exciting work.

Evans’ tenure was marked by a balance between popular and adventurous programming, including hugely successful musical productions of Me & My Girl, Company, My Fair Lady, Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, Anything Goes and Show Boat (which transferred to the West End) and four major writer’s seasons.

He also commissioned two new British musicals – This Is My Family, and Flowers for Mrs Harris, along with countless plays, including Queen Coal, set around the miners’ strike, Kes, a dance adaptation of the classic story and Richard Bean’s The Nap, a comedy-thriller about snooker.

Evans also established Sheffield People’s Theatre – a company of community actors aged from 12 – 90+ who staged several major productions featuring over 100 participants including The Sheffield Mysteries , Camelot: The Shining City and A Dream.

Evans had a successful career as an actor before being announced as something of a surprise choice to take over from Samuel West at Sheffield in 2009.

He was a memorable Peter Pan in the National Theatre’s 1997 production and won two best actor in a musical awards for Sondheim shows – Merrily We Roll Along in 2001 and Sunday in the Park With George in 2006.

Daniel Evans left to join the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2016 saying, “I’ve definitely grown to love Sheffield, I’ll miss it very much. It’s a place where there’s a real independent spirit, they’re so proud that they’re not Leeds or Manchester. There’s a down-to-earthness and generosity here that reminds me of home.”

He is a Fellow of the Guildhall School and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2012 and is a trustee of Act for Change.